Photos of the Red Sludge That Smothered a Town in Brazil

On November 5, two dams retaining tons of iron-mining waste near the Brazilian town of Bento Rodrigues burst, releasing a massive flood of thick, red toxic mud that flattened buildings and trees, smothered the small town, killed at least four, and left another 28 still missing. The dams are operated by the mining company Samarco, which is jointly owned by two larger mining companies: Vale, from Brazil and BHP Billiton, from Australia. Rescue workers are still searching for survivors as both Samarco and Brazilian authorities have issued statements saying the cause and full extent of the disaster remain undetermined.

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