An estimated 300 people are said to be missing after Friday's disaster at an iron ore mine in Brazil with hope of finding anyone alive quickly fading.
Hope that loved ones had survived a tsunami of iron ore mine waste from a dam collapse in Brazil was turning to anguish and anger over the increasing likelihood that many of the hundreds of people missing had died.
The number of people killed rose to 58, with those still missing rising to 305, civil defence officials said.
On Sunday, Brazilian officials suspended the search for potential survivors of the collapse amid fears that another dam owned by the same mining company was at risk of breaking as well.
Employees of the mining complex owned and operated by Brazilian mining company Vale were eating lunch on Friday afternoon when the dam gave way.
TRT World's Philip Owira reports.
In addition to the 40 bodies recovered as of Saturday night, 23 people were hospitalised, said authorities with the Minas Gerais fire department.
There had been some signs of hope earlier Saturday when authorities found 43 more people alive.
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 that at this point most recovery efforts would entail pulling out bodies.
TRT World's Reagan Des Vignes reports.
"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."
The flow of waste reached 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.
Hundreds are missing
The company said in a statement Saturday that while 100 workers were accounted for, more than 200 workers were still missing. Fire officials at one point estimated the total number at 305.
Vale CEO Fabio Schvartsman said he did not know what caused the collapse. About 300 employees were working when it happened.
For many, hope was evaporating.
"I don't think he is alive," said Joao Bosco, speaking of his cousin, Jorge Luis Ferreira, who worked for Vale. "Right now, I can only hope for a miracle of God."
TRT World speaks with journalist Michael Fox.
Concerns over contamination
The rivers of mining waste also raised fears of widespread contamination.
According to Vale's website, the waste, often called tailings, is composed mostly of sand and is non-toxic. However, a UN report found that the waste from a similar disaster in 2015 "contained high levels of toxic heavy metals."
Over the weekend, state courts and the justice ministry in the state of Minas Gerais ordered the freezing of about $1.5 billion from Vale assets for state emergency services and told the company to present a report about how they would help victims.
Brazilian environmental agency Ibama fined miner Vale SA $66.32 million for various violations in relation to the dam that broke.
Brazil's Attorney General Raquel Dodge promised to investigate, saying "someone is definitely at fault." Dodge noted there are 600 mines in the state of Minas Gerais alone that are classified as being at risk of rupture.
Incident in city of Mariana
Another dam administered by Vale and Australian mining company BHP Billiton collapsed in 2015 in the city of Mariana in the same state of Minas Gerais, resulting in 19 deaths and forcing hundreds from their homes.
Considered the worst environmental disaster in Brazilian history, it left 250,000 people without drinking water and killed thousands of fish. An estimated 60 million cubic meters of waste flooded rivers and eventually flowed into the Atlantic Ocean.
Schvartsman said what happened Friday was "a human tragedy much larger than the tragedy of Mariana, but probably the environmental damage will be less."
Sueli de Oliveira Costa, who hadn't heard from her husband since Friday, had harsh words for the mining company.
"Vale destroyed Mariana and now they've destroyed Brumadinho," she said.
Daily Folha de S.Paulo reported Saturday that the dam's mining complex was issued an expedited license to expand in December due to "decreased risk." Preservation groups in the area alleged that the approval was unlawful.
On Twitter, President Jair Bolsonaro said his government would do everything it could to "prevent more tragedies" like Mariana and now Brumadinho.
The far-right leader campaigned on promises to jump-start Brazil's economy, in part by deregulating mining and other industries.
Environmental groups and activists said the latest spill underscored a lack of regulation, and many promised to fight any further deregulation.
Da Silva summed up what many felt by saying the accident was clearly "negligence."
"This could have been avoided if the company had taken the necessary precautions after the tragedy of Mariana three years ago," she said.