Brazil bauxite mine accident leaves 5,000 homeless

Brazil bauxite mine accident leaves 5,000 homeless

Heavy rains caused a bauxite mine’s rejects dam in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais to burst and drive 5,000 people from their homes, Brazil’s CBN radio station said on Wednesday.

Dozens of people have died and more than 8,000 have been left homeless in southeast Brazil in the past weeks due to mud slides and flooding from heavy rains.

Industrias Quimicas Cataguases confirmed that the accident had occurred at its Mineracao Rio Pomba bauxite mine but gave no further details.

CBN said Minas Gerais’ environmental regulator, Feema, estimated that 2 million cubic meters of mud used in bauxite washing had overflowed its holding reservoir.

But Feema said that no toxic waste was contained in the mud.

The newspaper O Globo’s Internet page quoted local fire officials saying that the rejects from the mine had entered the Muriae River, which overran its banks and flooded parts of the towns Mirai and Muriae.

Bauxite is the raw material from which aluminum is refined.

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