Firefighters have rescued 500 people in Minas Gerais

The casualties live in a rural village near Mariana that was

Published on 06/11/2015 - 12:47 By Paula Laboissière reports from Agência Brasil - Brasília

Mariana (MG) - Uma barragem pertencente à mineradora Samarco se rompeu no distrito de Bento Rodrigues, zona rural a 23 quilômetros de Mariana, em Minas Gerais, e inundou a região (Corpo de Bombeiros/MG - Divulgação)

Bento Rodrigues, the rural village where the disaster occurred on Thursday afternoon (5).Fire Department of Minas Gerais/Uncredited

The Fire Department of Minas Gerais reported today (Nov. 6) that it has rescued about 500 residents of areas impacted by a collapse of two dams located 23 km from Mariana, Minas Gerais. A total of 105 firefighters and 20 service vehicles are in Bento Rodrigues, the rural village where the disaster occurred on Thursday afternoon (5). The dams belong to Samarco mining company.

According to the statement, the victims wash off iron residues from their bodies and are then referred to local health services.

The brigade also reported that four of the people injured—two adults and two children—were rescued and taken to a hospital in the state capital, Belo Horizonte, about 100 km away. Three helicopters are assisting the rescue efforts, and two backhoes are being used to clear the way to the most impacted locations.

According to the latest update this morning from a local hospital in Mariana, one of the victims was dead on arrival, another one is still in hospital, and six were discharged.

Tailings dams like the ones that burst yesterday are designed to hold back solid waste and water from mining operations. The waste has to be stored in a safe place to avoid environmental contamination.

On its Facebook page, Samarco said the waste is inert, consisting mostly of silica (sand) resulting from iron ore processing, and contains no health-hazardous chemicals.


Translated by Mayra Borges


Fonte: Firefighters have rescued 500 people in Minas Gerais

Edition: Talita Cavalcante / Nira Foster

Latest news