9 dead, at least 300 missing after Brazil dam collapse

9 dead, at least 300 missing after Brazil dam collapse
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Nine people have been confirmed dead and roughly 300 are missing after a dam collapsed Friday at an iron mine in Brazil, according to multiple reports.

Romeu Zema, governor of Minas Gerais state, said it was unlikely to find more people alive in the collapse, according to the BBC. The dam was located near the town of Brumadinho in Minas Gerais.

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"From now, the odds are minimal and it's most likely we'll recover only bodies," Zema said.

Firefighters have issued a list of nearly 200 people who have been rescued, NBC News reported. Over 100 firefighters were on the scene, with more than 200 expected to arrive on Saturday.

 

The cause of the dam collapse is unknown. Brazil's largest mining company, Vale, owns the site. 

Vale CEO Fabio Schvartsman said only 100 of the approximately 300 workers had been accounted for, BBC reports.

Schvartsman called the collapse a "human tragedy" and said a German company that was hired to assess the dam had deemed it stable in September.

"Our main concern at this moment is attending to potential victims of this grave tragedy," Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro wrote on Twitter.

The collapse comes three years after another dam burst in the Minais Gerais state, killing 19. The site was also owned by Vale.

Environmentalists have said that the repeated collapse points to lack of environmental regulation.

"History repeats itself as tragedy in Brumadinho," Marina Silva, a former environmental minister and three-time presidential candidate, tweeted. "It's unacceptable that government and mining companies haven't learned anything."