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BENTO RODRIGUES - or the colors of a disaster

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   The BENTO RODRIGUES dam disaster occurred on 5 November 2015, when an iron ore tailings dam in MARIANA, Minas Gerais, BRAZIL, suffered a catastrophic failure, resulting in flooding that destroyed the village of BENTO RODRIGUES and killed at least 17 people.
   The failure of the BENTO RODRIGUES dam has been described as the worst environmental disaster in BRAZIL's history. Around 60 million cubic meters of iron waste flowed into the DOCE RIVER, causing toxic brown mudflows to pollute the river and beaches near the mouth when they reached the ATLANTIC OCEAN 17 days later.
   The total impact of the disaster, including the reason for failure and the environmental consequences, are officially under investigation and currently still unclear.
   The owner of the BENTO RODRIGUES dam, SAMARCO, was subject to extensive litigation and government sanctions. In 2016, charges of homicidewere filed against 21 executives of VALE and BHP BILLITON, the companies that own SAMARCO as a joint venture (i.s.).


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