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Mine dam collapses in Brazil; 200 reportedly missing

Posted at 4:31 PM, Jan 25, 2019

At least 200 people were said to be missing Friday by firefighters after a dam burst at a Brazilian mine and caused severe flooding in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais.

Dramatic aerial footage from CNN affiliate Record TV showed the city of Brumadinho covered in mud. Homes appeared to have been destroyed, and helicopter rescues led by firefighters showed people covered in mud being airlifted out of the area.

The Feijao mine is managed by Brazilian mining giant Vale, which said it suffered a "breach," causing mining debris to spill into the mine's administrative area where employees were working.

Vale's press department said a triage area had been set up in a nearby football field for victims to receive medical treatment. The statement said more than 50 firefighters and six aircraft had been deployed there.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro posted a series of tweets to his official Twitter account, saying the government's "main concern at this moment is to tend to the potential victims of this horrific tragedy."

Bolsonaro said he had deployed the ministers of the environment and mining and energy and national defense secretary to the area and that "all possible measures" are now in place.