Death toll from Brazil dam disaster climbs to 166, 155 still missing
The death toll from Brazil's tragic dam disaster in southeast Minas Gerais state has climbed to 166, the state civil defense agency said, Trend reported citing Xinhua.
The agency's Lt. Col. Flavio Godinho told the press that another 155 people are still missing since the tailings dam that contained tons of toxic waste from an iron-ore mine collapsed on Jan. 25, burying parts of the town of Brumadinho under mountains of mud.
Efforts to locate the bodies of the missing continue though rescuers are finding increasingly fewer bodies as the remaining victims lie buried under as much as 15 meters of mud, he said.
Authorities have identified 160 of those killed, most of whom are employees of mining giant and dam owner Vale and residents of surrounding communities.
The rescue operation continues with 327 firefighters and 43 pieces of heavy machinery, including trucks and excavators, eight aircraft and 12 search and rescue dogs.
The sea of mud is believed to have washed away Vale administrative offices and a cafeteria where hundreds of employees were having lunch when the dam broke.