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Brazil dam collapse death toll rises to 121

Published
Helicopters hover over an iron ore mining complex to release thousands of flower petals paying homage to the dozens of victims killed and scores of missing after a mining dam collapsed there a week ago, in Brumadinho, Brazil, Friday, Feb. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

BRUMADINHO, Brazil (AP) — Rescue officials say the death toll following the collapse of a dam holding back mining waste in southeastern Brazil has risen to 121. Another 226 people are missing.

Lt. Pedro Aihara of the Minas Gerais state Fire Department said Saturday that some bodies may never be found under the tons of mud that swept through a rural area of Brumadinho.

Aihara says that the recovery mission will take more than a month. The decision on when to call it off will depend on environmental conditions and the state of the bodies recovered.

No one has been found alive since the day after the Jan. 25 collapse.

A view of the Paraobeba River in Brumadinho, Brazil, Friday, Feb. 1, 2019, polluted a week ago when a dam holding back mine waste collapsed. A Brazilian environmental group has begun testing river water in areas to measure the level of toxicity and assess risks to human and other forms of life. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
A view of the Paraobeba River in Brumadinho, Brazil, Friday, Feb. 1, 2019, polluted a week ago when a dam holding back mine waste collapsed. A Brazilian environmental group has begun testing river water in areas to measure the level of toxicity and assess risks to human and other forms of life. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
Helicopters hover over an iron ore mining complex to release thousands of flower petals paying homage to the dozens of victims killed and scores of missing after a mining dam collapsed there a week ago, in Brumadinho, Brazil, Friday, Feb. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
Helicopters hover over an iron ore mining complex to release thousands of flower petals paying homage to the dozens of victims killed and scores of missing after a mining dam collapsed there a week ago, in Brumadinho, Brazil, Friday, Feb. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
A view of the Paraobeba River in Brumadinho, Brazil, Friday, Feb. 1, 2019, polluted a week ago when a dam holding back mine waste collapsed. A Brazilian environmental group has begun testing river water in areas to measure the level of toxicity and assess risks to human and other forms of life. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
A view of the Paraobeba River in Brumadinho, Brazil, Friday, Feb. 1, 2019, polluted a week ago when a dam holding back mine waste collapsed. A Brazilian environmental group has begun testing river water in areas to measure the level of toxicity and assess risks to human and other forms of life. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
A view of the Paraobeba River in Brumadinho, Brazil, Friday, Feb. 1, 2019, polluted a week ago when a dam holding back mine waste collapsed. A Brazilian environmental group has begun testing river water in areas to measure the level of toxicity and assess risks to human and other forms of life. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
A view of the Paraobeba River in Brumadinho, Brazil, Friday, Feb. 1, 2019, polluted a week ago when a dam holding back mine waste collapsed. A Brazilian environmental group has begun testing river water in areas to measure the level of toxicity and assess risks to human and other forms of life. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)