The Latest: Death toll in mine disaster increases to 34
BRUMADINHO, Brazil (AP) — The Latest on the mining dam collapse in Brazil (all times local):
Authorities say the death toll from a dam collapse in Southeastern Brazil has risen to 34 and searchers expect to find even more bodies.
Officials from the Minas Gerais fire department released the latest number on Saturday after hours of searching by rescuers digging through feet (meters) of mud in intermittent rains.
In addition to the dead, 23 people have been hospitalized.
Employees of the Brazilian mining company Vale were eating lunch Friday afternoon when the dam collapsed, unleashing a sea of reddish-brown mud that knocked over and buried several structures of the company and surrounding areas.
Israel says it’s sending a mission to Brazil to help in rescue operations and provide aid after the collapse of a dam holding back mining waste.
A statement Saturday by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office says the mission will leave within 24 hours.
Netanyahu made the help offer during a call with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has been an enthusiastic ally of Israel.
Rescuers in helicopters are searching for survivors in a huge area in southeastern Brazil buried by the collapse of dam holding back mine waste. At least nine people are dead and up to 300 missing.
More than 24 hours since the disaster, finding many more survivors is looking increasingly unlikely. Minas Gerais state Gov. Romeu Zema says that “most likely, from now on we are mostly going to be recovering bodies.”
Still, there are some signs of hope. Authorities announced they had found 43 more people alive Saturday, though the number missing was still at 300.