Anger grows in Brazil after dam failures

John Lyons – The Wall Street Journal, 11/12/2015

President Dilma Rousseff flew on Thursday over towns devastated by the failure of two mining dams last week, as anger mounted over what critics say has been a weak and slow government response to an accident that left a trail of damage hundreds of miles long.

The collapse of two dams at an iron-ore mine operated by a joint venture between Brazil’s Vale SA and Australia’s BHP Billiton sent 62 million cubic meters of mining mud flooding through remote mountain valleys on Nov. 5, ripping apart small colonial towns and leaving at least eight people dead. Searchers are using poles to prod lakes of mud for the at least 19 people still missing, including children.

On Thursday, Ms. Rousseff said the mine’s operator, Samarco Mineração SA, and its owners Vale and BHP Billiton, broke federal environmental and other laws.

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