At least 17 dead as dam bursts at Brazil mining waste site

A general view of the dam that burst at a mining waste site in Brazil on Nov 5, 2015.
A general view of the dam that burst at a mining waste site in Brazil on Nov 5, 2015. PHOTO: EPA
People gathering at the Arena Mariana after a dam broke  on Nov 5, 2015.
People gathering at the Arena Mariana after a dam broke on Nov 5, 2015. PHOTO: AFP
People arranging supplies for evacuees at the Arena Mariana after a dam broke on Nov 5, 2015.
People arranging supplies for evacuees at the Arena Mariana after a dam broke on Nov 5, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

MARIANA, Brazil (AFP) - A dam burst on Thursday (Nov 6) at a mining waste site in Brazil, killing at least 17 people and injuring more than 50, a fire chief said.

"The number of missing is going to surpass 40 but that is not official," said Adao Severino Junior, fire chief in the city of Mariana in south-eastern Minas Gerais state.

The village of Bento Rodrigues near the dam is practically buried in mud, the fire chief said.

"The situation is grim. It is dark. There is a lot of mud," Severino said.

Rescue operations will continue through the night, he added.