Dam breaks in southeast Brazil, causing an unknown number of casualties

A dam has failed at an iron ore mine in southeastern Brazil, unleashing a massive mudflow that buried the mining site and reached a nearby community, local officials say. At least 50 people were killed.

The incident happened on early Friday afternoon when a tailings dam holding mining waste failed in Brumadinho, a town in the state of Minas Gerais, about 30 kilometers (19 miles) southwest of Belo Horizonte.

The Vale mining company, which operates the mine and owns the dam, confirmed in a statement that a breach had occurred, causing a mudflow that hit the work site and parts of the nearby community.

Footage shown on local television showed that cars, trucks, buildings, and a cargo train were buried by the devastating mudflow. A number of people were rescued by helicopter.

Mayor Avimar de Melo Barcelos told BandNews FM on early Friday evening that at least 50 people were killed. He said 200 to 300 people are believed to be missing, but rescue workers are still looking for survivors.

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