Brazilian officials freeze more Vale assets over dam collapse


The footage shows the wall of sludge and mud approaching from the dam, with vehicles seen moving around attempting to avoid it, before being covered by the mud. Three years ago a dam at a nearby mine run by the same company, Vale, collapsed.

With 110 people confirmed dead and another 238 missing, according to a firefighters' count on Thursday evening, the tailings dam collapse in the town of Brumadinho could be Brazil's deadliest mine disaster.

The same amount was frozen on Monday, after the state's Public Ministry of Labor requested a total of 1.6 billion reals (about 440 million USA dollars) be frozen to cover costs related to the accident, which has so far killed 110 people, mostly Vale employees.

The burst tailings dam at the Corrego do Feijao mine last Friday has ignited intense public anger against Vale, which was co-owner of Samarco, the previous dam that collapsed.

The owner of the dam, Vale, said in a press conference that the majority of the victims were employees.

Dozens have paid homage to the victims and those still missing.

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The emergency service for the state of Minas Gerais, where the January 25 disaster occurred near the town of Brumadinho, said the search was ongoing for bodies.

Vale SA, the company that ran and operated the dam, claimed the residues did not have risky levels of metals, but experts argue the impact on the environment could be irreversible.

The sledge caused by the dam collapse tracked straight for Vale's cafeteria, where numerous workers were eating lunch.

"Prince Philip and I were deeply saddened to learn of the devastation and loss of life caused by the ruptured dam in Brumadinho".

Hundreds of municipalities and larger cities such as Petrolina, 1400km from Brumadinho, get drinking water from the Sao Francisco River.