As Mining Giant Flails, Human Toll from Brazil Dam Disaster Ticks Up

While business reporting zooms in on the financial implications of last week’s deadly dam burst in Brazil—a toxic breach being called the “largest-ever spill of its kind”—survivors and rescuers continue to tally up the human and ecological costs and search for those who are still missing.

There are currently 28 people missing and three have been confirmed dead.

Reuters reports Monday that mud and wastewater from the burst dams is complicating search and rescue efforts while raising health and environmental concerns. Four days after the disaster, mud and mining waste is still running past the well-populated banks of the Rio Doce river, according to the news outlet, which adds:

Meanwhile, according to the Wall Street Journal, investors continued to dump shares in mining giant BHP Billiton Ltd. Monday while the company sought to pin the blame for Thursday’s tailings dam collapse on its subsidiary, Samarco, which it owns jointly with another corporation. Samarco, BHP told the WSJ, was “responsible for the entirety” of the operations at the iron ore mine.


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