Moment of Brazil dam collapse caught on camera

Moment of Brazil dam collapse caught on camera

The company that owns the ore mine, Vale SA, has been ordered to pay a fine of 250 million reals (US$66.32 million) for various violations that led to the collapse - one of the biggest environmental penalties in Brazil's history.

As many as 248 people are still reported missing after the dam had given way in an iron ore mine in Brumadinho on January 25.

Located in Minas Gerais state, Brumadinho is 450 kilometers (279.6 miles) north of Rio de Janeiro. It said it estimated that investments of around US$5 billion would be necessary to decommission its upstream dams and estimated that the decommissioning process would occur over the next three years.

There were also demands for a congressional investigation. Vale described the document as a routine disaster preparation plan required by regulators.

The ceremony was held at the site of the disaster at around 1pm local time, the hour at which the dam breached a week ago, unleashing a destructive torrent of reddish-brown mining waste.

That was also the cause of another dam burst, at a mine co-owned by Vale, in 2015.

A number of experts and legislators claim that lax regulations and chronic short staffing made the devastating collapse of the dam in southeastern Brazil all but destined to happen.

The study envisaged that sirens would alert workers if the dam burst.

Officials with the Mines and Energy Ministry and the National Mining Agency (ANM) told reporters on Friday that the cause of the rupture was still unclear and that all documentation regularly submitted by Vale had indicated that the dam was stable.

"This tragedy will be remembered not just here but all over Brazil", said 23-year-old Jonatan Silva Santos, who lost friends that worked at Vale. "We are in the investigation phase and we can not say whether the (inspection) model was adequate or not".

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