Five arrested over Brazil dam collapse

Rescuers search for victims at the site of the disaster - 28 January Image copyright Reuters

Police in Brazil have arrested five people as part of an investigation into Friday's dam collapse in Brumadinho.

At least 65 people died when sludge engulfed a company canteen and neighbouring residential buildings.

Prosecutors in Brazil say three of those arrested were officials from the mining company Vale, whose responsibilities included dealing with environmental impact licences.

Vale said it was co-operating with prosecutors.

The company is the world's biggest producer of iron ore and nickel.

Two engineers working for a subsidiary company were arrested in Sao Paulo.

All five can be detained for 30 days and will be questioned by investigators in Belo Horizonte.

Rescuers are continuing to search for survivors in Brumadinho. Nearly 300 people are still missing and there is little hope they will be found alive.

On Monday, protesters gathered outside Vale's corporate headquarters in Rio de Janeiro and daubed slogans including "Murderers!" on its walls.

In a statement following the arrests, Vale said: "With regards to the warrants served this morning, Vale informs that it is fully co-operating with the authorities.

"Vale will continue to support the investigations in order to determine the facts, in addition to the unconditional support to the families."

Vale's share price plunged by nearly 25% on Monday on the Brazilian stock market.

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