Environment

Effects of Brumadinho disaster all too present two years on

A tailings dam collapsed in the Minas Gerais town of Brumadinho two years ago. The victims remain without homes and water

environment disaster vale mining brumadinho
“It’s not mud, it’s toxic waste,” reads a sign during rally for the Brumadinho victims. Photo: Rodrigo S Coelho/Shutterstock

At 12:58 on January 25, 2019, a tailings dam collapsed outside the southeastern Brazilian town of Brumadinho, releasing a deluge of toxic sludge that destroyed surrounding villages and killed 270 people, among them employees of the Córrego do Feijão iron ore mine, owned by mining giant Vale.

Two years on, the bodies of 11 victims are still missing. Search operations have taken up over 6,000 hours of work by almost 4,000 military personnel. The last time bodies were encountered was December 28, 2019. Searches stopped in March due to the pandemic, but continued on August 27.

Meanwhile,...

Access all of The Brazilian Report
Start your 7-day free trial.
Free trial