The Queen sends message to President of Brazil following dam collapse

Burst Brazilian dam death toll rises to 99

Burst Brazilian dam death toll rises to 99

"An internal study showed the miner knew as recently as a year ago that some of the areas hit were at risk if its tailings dam burst, according to a report by Folha de S.Paulo newspaper", Reuters reported.

Vale, the world's biggest producer of iron ore and nickel, said it was co-operating with prosecutors.

A number of experts and legislators claim that lax regulations and chronic short staffing made the devastating collapse of the dam in southeastern Brazil all but destined to happen.

The disaster poses a headache for the new government of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, whose new business-friendly administration must juggle public anger over the tragedy and its own desire to ease mining and environmental regulations to kick-start growth.

Authorities say that 110 bodies have been recovered and 238 are listed as missing. Helicopters released flower petals on top of the iron ore mining complex.

A priest also gave a brief Mass in front of a tall pink cross that had been planted in the mud.

The dam, owned by Brazilian mining giant Vale S.A., collapsed last Friday, sending sludge and other materials into the surrounding areas, including the town of Brumadinho.

A total of 12 million cubic metres of sludge inundated roads and homes, spilling over an area of approximately 290 hectares.

Vale SA, the company that ran and operated the dam, claimed the residues did not have risky levels of metals, but experts argue the impact on the environment could be irreversible.

The Paraopeba River flows into the much larger Sao Francisco River, which could also be contaminated.

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