Rescuers were still searching for 276 people on Tuesday, while the toll rose to 84, days after a dam collapsed in Brazil, reported Reuters. The structure had given way in an iron ore mine in Brumadinho on January 25.
Vale SA, the world’s largest iron ore miner and the owner of the dam, on Tuesday promised to decommission 10 similar dams and reduced its ore output by 10%. Several of the company’s executives have been taken into custody for questioning.
The dam was built using a method that is prohibited in Peru and Chile on safety grounds, the news agency reported. Chief Executive Fabio Schvartsman said, “We decided the company should, once and for all, do what it takes to remove any doubt about the safety of Vale’s dams.”
The disaster is the second major incident involving the company in the past three years. The dam in the state of Minas Gerais was holding back waste.
Credit ratings agency Fitch reduced the company’s score, while Moody’s said the company was under review for a downgrade.
Meanwhile, the indigenous group Pataxo-Hahahae that lives near the dam expressed fears about the future as the collapse of the dam has polluted the Paraopeba River with mining waste, Reuters reported. The group relies on the river for fish and water.
Brazilian environmental agency Ibama slapped a 250-million-real (Rs 469-crore) fine on Vale for violations related to the tragedy, The Guardian reported. The agency said the company had caused pollution, turned the area unfit for habitation and committed other regulatory violations.