RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- About 200 people were missing after a tailings dam owned by Brazilian mining giant Vale collapsed Friday in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais, said local fire department.
The dam collapsed in Brumadinho Municipality and caused a mud wave to flow down the river, destroying administrative areas of Vale and residential areas as well.
As the disaster occurred close to lunch hours, many workers are believed to have been inside a refectory area which was completely destroyed by the mud wave.
So far, four people have been rescued from the affected area and taken to nearby hospitals, according to rescuers.
Residents told local media that there were no warnings before the mud wave and no sirens which could have given residents some time to flee.
Aerial images of the area show that the bridges on a railway and a highway were destroyed, which affects the access of more rescue workers to the impacted area.
A couple of hours after the collapse, the mud wave reached the Paraopeba River which runs through the town center of Brumadinho.
The town center of Brumadinho has been evacuated by local authorities, as the river often overflows when it rains heavily. Enditem