United Nations rights experts call for probe into Brazil's deadly dam collapse

United Nations rights experts call for probe into Brazil's deadly dam collapse

United Nations rights experts call for probe into Brazil's deadly dam collapse

Brazilian firefighters and Israeli rescue workers carefully moved Monday over treacherous mud - sometimes walking, sometimes crawling - during their search for survivors or bodies following a dam collapse that buried buildings for an iron ore mining complex and inundated nearby neighbourhoods with ore waste.

Two other engineers, who worked on behalf of Vale and are accused of attesting to the safety of the dam, were arrested in Sao Paulo, state prosecutors there said.

The death toll from last week's mining dam disaster in the Brazilian town of Brumadinho in the southeast state of Minas Gerais climbed to 84 on Tuesday, said local authorities.

The Brumadinho tragedy comes just three years after a dam run jointly by Vale and BHP burst in nearby Samarco, killing 19 people.

The local miners' union in the town of Brumadinho, devastated by the torrent of mining waste, sought several months of additional pay for employees and years of guaranteed employment, among other benefits, in a letter seen by Reuters. They have also arrested two engineers from German auditor firm TÜV SÜD.

State investigators issued a total of five arrest warrants and seven search warrants, on suspicion of murder, falsification of documents and environmental crimes, the judge's decision showed.

The 2015 dam collapse released millions of tons of deadly iron waste along hundreds of kilometers.

Families have been told to evacuate homes in low-lying areas, they said.

Where that is not possible, the company will build new containment dams, he said. "We are going to create a safety mattress that is far superior to what we have today", he said.

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According to Mr Schvartsman, these the dams are already inactive, but are surrounded but current mining operations, as was also the case in Brumadinho.

On Monday, a presidential task force contemplated forcing out Vale's management, but by Tuesday senior officials pushed back on the idea.

The company's shares tanked almost 18 percent on Monday, three days after the dam collapsed in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais.

A Catholic priest for a church now being used as a command center for officials trying to rescue people after a mining company dam burst says numerous church's parishioners are believed to be buried in mud.

The chief of a native community that lives 14 miles from Brumadinho reported all life in the river on which his community depends for food, bathing and cloth washing is "dead" and polluted with the mineral-loaded mud, G1 said.

The Vale mining company tells the Associated Press there are eight sirens in the area around the dam that failed - but that "the speed in which the event happened made sounding an alarm impossible" on Friday.

"There aren't conditions for any degree of interference".

Two government agencies have hit the company with sanctions over the mine collapse. The country's top prosecutor said the company should be criminally prosecuted and executives held personally responsible.

He said XP was maintaining its forecast for iron ore priced around $65 for the years covered by the production plan, but added the cuts "could support prices above that level".

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