Dam Bursts at BHP-Owned Mine in Brazil [VIDEO]

At least two people were confirmed dead after a dam burst Thursday at an iron-ore mine in southeastern Brazil, triggering deadly mudslides that ravaged a nearby town. Early Friday, local authorities said they expected the death toll to rise as rescue crews struggled to search devastated areas where roads and cell towers were knocked out. Some 30 were listed as injured and dozens remain missing. The cause of the burst or the extent of the damage near Mariana in the famous mining state of Minas Gerais was not clear, according to mining company Sanmarco, which is a joint venture between Brazil’s Vale and Australia’s BHP Billiton. Fearing additional landslides, local civil-defense authorities said they evacuated about 600 people to higher ground from the village of Bento Rodrigues as well as other areas. The dam was holding a mining waste product of metal filings, water, and chemicals. Local reports from the G1 news service of the Globo Media group put the death toll at 16 overnight.