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.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Frazer Harrison / Getty for Coachella

    Scenes From Coachella 2019

    Over the past two weekends, thousands of music fans gathered to hear performances in Indio, California.

  • Chamila Karunarathne / Anadolu Agency / Getty

    Photos: Mourning and Anguish After the Devastating Attacks in Sri Lanka

    After the horrific Easter Sunday bombings, loved ones mourn in Sri Lanka, and supporters offer prayers from around the world.

  • Vadim Ghirda / AP

    Photos of the Week: Water Festival, Candy Candidate, Uruguayan Gaucho

    Fashion in Pakistan, Ivanka Trump in Ethiopia, Holy Week celebrations in Spain, an aircraft with the world’s longest wingspan, Notre-Dame cathedral ablaze in Paris, spring skiing in Siberia, and much more

  • Wang Zhao / AFP / Getty

    Mars in the Gobi Desert

    Photographers were on hand as some of the first student groups arrived to tour this vision of Mars in China’s Gobi Desert.