200 missing after dam breaks in southeast Brazil

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A dam has failed at an iron ore mine in southeastern Brazil, unleashing a massive mudflow that buried the mining site and reached a nearby community, local officials say. About 200 people are missing.

The incident happened on early Friday afternoon when a tailings dam holding mining waste failed in Brumadinho, a town in the state of Minas Gerais, about 30 kilometers (19 miles) southwest of Belo Horizonte.

The Vale mining company confirmed in a statement that a dam had failed, causing a mudflow that hit the work site and parts of the Vila Ferteco community.

Footage shown on local television showed several people being rescued by helicopter. It also showed that cars, trucks, buildings, and a cargo train were buried by the devastating mudflow.

There was no immediate word on the number of casualties. The local fire department said an estimated 200 people are believed to be missing, but a rescue operation was ongoing on late Friday afternoon.

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