Bento Rodrigues Dam Bursts

Thursday November 5, 2015 a dam burst above the town of the Bento Rodregues in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. A veritable river of mud and mine tailings flowed through the town displacing the 600 inhabitants. The iron ore mine where the dam was holding back the mine tailings is owned by BHP Billiton Ltd. and Vale SA.

Video showed many if not all homes destroyed by the mudslide. A car was lifted onto the top of a building which had its roof destroyed. The destruction was throughout the valley.

In a joint statement on the Samarco Mineração  Facebook page, Peter Poppinga, executive director of Ferrous Vale, and Jimmy Wilson, Iron Ore president of BHP Billiton, said that our “priority right now is to understand the extent of the consequences of breaking the dams and how we can provide additional support.”

At least two are confirmed and up to 16 have been reported dead due to the dam failure. The cause of the dam breach currently unknown.

One thought on “Bento Rodrigues Dam Bursts

  1. Bento Rodrigues is situated on unpaved back roads, which are the only available means of land travel between it and the other districts and the seat of the municipality. Because of its precarious access location, the flooding made Bento Rodrigues completely inaccessible by road, which hindered firefighters’ access to the rescue. The only option for transport into or out of the location was via helicopter. There was a school in the area where the flood occurred, and the teachers were able to remove the students before school.

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