(Vale dam tragedy) Deaths rise to 65, hundreds missing

World | 29 Jan 2019 11:42 am

The death toll from the Brazil mining dam collapse climbed to to 65 yesterday, with 279 people still missing, said Lt. Col. Flavio Godinho of the civil defense department in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais.

In a sign of the risks posed by the deep mud, Col. Alexandre Ferreira, a doctor with the military police of Minas Gerais, advised rescue crews, volunteers and journalists to take antibiotics to prevent cholera, the bacterial infection leptospirosis and other diseases.

Officials said the death toll was expected to grow "exponentially,” since no had been rescued alive since Saturday.

Search efforts were extremely slow because of the treacherous sea of reddish-brown mud that surged out when the mine tailings dam breached Friday afternoon. The mud was up 24 feet deep in some places, forcing searchers to carefully walk around the edges of the muck or slowly crawl onto it so they would not sink and drown.-AP

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