300 missing, mass devastation in Brazil dam burst

Hundreds of people are missing after a dam at a Brazilian iron mine burst, devastating the mine itself and a local town.

The death toll is expected to be severe.

The mining site alone had some 300 workers, according to the company that owns it, and only about a third had been accounted for as of Saturday morning.

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Brazil dam collapse disaster
An aerial view shows a partially destroyed house after a dam collapsed, in Brumadinho, Brazil, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. An estimated 300 people were still missing and authorities expected the death toll to rise during a search made more challenging by intermittent rains. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
Mud covers what remains of a market after a dam collapse near Brumadinho, Brazil, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. Rescuers in helicopters searched for survivors while firefighters dug through mud in a huge area in southeastern Brazil buried by the collapse of a dam holding back mine waste, with at least nine people dead and up to 300 missing. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
A man looks at the mud after a dam collapse near Brumadinho, Brazil, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. Rescuers in helicopters searched for survivors while firefighters dug through mud in a huge area in southeastern Brazil buried by the collapse of a dam holding back mine waste, with at least nine people dead and up to 300 missing. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
The mud covers the backyard of a house after a dam collapse near Brumadinho, Brazil, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. Rescuers in helicopters on Saturday searched for survivors while firefighters dug through mud in a huge area in southeastern Brazil buried by the collapse of a dam holding back mine waste, with at least nine people dead and up to 300 missing. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
Firefighters search the mud, after a dam collapse near Brumadinho, Brazil, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. Rescuers in helicopters on Saturday searched for survivors while firefighters dug through mud in a huge area in southeastern Brazil buried by the collapse of a dam holding back mine waste, with at least nine people dead and up to 300 missing. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
A helicopter lands on a site to rescue a body that was found in the mud, after a dam collapse near Brumadinho, Brazil, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. Rescuers in helicopters searched for survivors while firefighters dug through mud in a huge area in southeastern Brazil buried by the collapse of a dam holding back mine waste, with at least nine people dead and up to 300 missing. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
An aerial view shows a destroyed bridget after a dam collapsed in Brumadinho, Brazil, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. Rescuers searched for survivors in a huge area in southeastern Brazil buried by mud from the collapse of dam holding back mine waste, with several people dead and hundreds missing. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
An aerial view shows a destroyed house after a dam collapsed in Brumadinho, Brazil, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. Rescuers searched for survivors in a huge area in southeastern Brazil buried by mud from the collapse of dam holding back mine waste, with several people dead and hundreds missing. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
An aerial view shows the area of a collapsed dam in Brumadinho, Brazil, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. Rescuers searched for survivors in a huge area in southeastern Brazil buried by mud from the collapse of dam holding back mine waste, with several people dead and hundreds missing. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
A man points to the mud that invaded his family's house near Brumadinho, Brazil, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. The dam that held back mining waste collapsed, inundating a nearby community in reddish-brown sludge, killing several people and leaving scores of others missing. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
Friends and relatives comfort themselves as they wait for informations of those who disappeared after a dam collapse in Brumadinho, Brazil, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. The dam that held back mining waste collapsed, inundating a nearby community in reddish-brown sludge, killing several people and leaving scores of others missing. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
An aerial view shows destroyed vehicles and wagons after a dam collapsed in Brumadinho, Brazil, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. Rescuers searched for survivors in a huge area in southeastern Brazil buried by mud from the collapse of dam holding back mine waste, with several people dead and hundreds missing. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
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The torrent is said to have hit at lunchtime on Friday, and tore through the mine's cafeteria and offices.

This is not the first major disaster linked to the mine's owner, a corporation called Vale S.A.

Three years ago Brazil suffered the worst environmental catastrophe in its history when another dam burst at a mining project that Vale was partnered in poured toxic waste into a river, killing 19 people.

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