HOPE that loved ones had survived a tsunami of iron ore mine waste from dam collapse in Brazil was turning to anguish and anger over the increasing likelihood that many of hundreds of people missing had died.

By last Saturday night, when authorities called off rescue efforts until day break, the death toll stood at 40 dead with up to 300 people estimated to be missing. Throughout the day, helicopters flew low over areas buried by mud and firefighters worked to get to structures by digging.

''I'm angry. There  is no way i can stay calm,'' said Sonia Fatima da Silva, as she tried to get information about her son, who had worked at Vale mining company for 20 years. ''My hope is that they be honest. I want news, even if it's bad.''

Da Silva said she last spoke to her son before he went to work on Friday, when around midday a dam holding back mine waste collapsed, sending waves of mud for kilometers [miles]  and burying much in its path.

Employees of the mining complex owned and operated by  Brazilian Mining company Vale were eating lunch Friday afternoon when the dam gave way.

Throughout  Saturday, scores of  families in the city of  Brumadinho desperately awaited word on their loved ones as Romeu Zema, governor of Minas Gerais state, said at this point most recovery efforts would entail pulling out bodies.

The flow of waste reduced the nearby community of Vila Ferteco and an occupied Vale administrative office.

On Saturday, rooftops poked above an extensive field of the mud, which also cut off roads. After the dam collapse, some were evacuated from Brumadinho. Other residents of  the affected areas barely escaped with their lives. [Agencies]


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