The death toll from Brazil’s collapsed mining dam climbed to 65, with 279 people still missing in southeast Brazil’s Minas Gerais state, according to latest official data on Monday.
Hundreds of rescuers from Brazil’s military and foreign rescue teams joined the search and rescue efforts on Monday. Spokesman for the Minas Gerais Fire Department said they are still making an all-out effort to look for survivors, but acknowledged that the chances of finding more survivors from the Jan. 25 dam disaster are slim.
The missing people include residents of the destroyed area and workers from the Brazilian mining company Vale which owned the collapsed dam, according to the state fire department.
Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourao said on Monday that the government would investigate the accident and punish anyone found responsible for the disaster. He also said that a working group formed by the government will analyze the problems of Vale’s management.
According to demands of different judicial departments, it is estimated that 11.8 billion reals (over 3 billion dollars) of Vale’s assets will be frozen to ensure payment of compensation.