Residents in the town of Brumadinho, Brazil have been left in mourning on Thursday, rocked by tragedy after a local dam burst, sending out a torrent of sludge that has left almost hundred dead and hundreds still missing.
The dam collapse that killed more than 100 people in Brazil was inevitable because of lax regulations, residents have claimed.
The company which owns the dam is now accused of ignoring reports that its employees were at risk. In addition, iron-ore prices are key, and largely determined by Chinese demand.
An internal study showed the miner knew as recently as past year that some of the areas hit were at risk if its tailings dam burst, according to a report by Folha de S.Paulo newspaper.
A spokesman for the Minas Gerais Fire Department said after the ceremony that authorities were not calling off the search for bodies although no one had been found alive since Saturday.
The disaster happened in the municipality of Brumadinho on January 25 when a tailings dam collapsed and sent 13 million cubic meters of sludge and mud down the hill. Rescuers momentarily stopped looking for bodies and police helicopters released flower petals over the ruined area.
A priest also gave a brief mass in front of a tall pink cross that had been planted in the mud.
Dodge also met with representatives of the victims from Brumadinho and from Mariana, another town in Minas Gerais that experienced a similar tragedy in 2015, after a dam broke at another mining operation partly owned by Vale.
Vale SA, the company that ran and operated the dam, said the residues did not have risky levels of metals but experts argue that the impact on the environment could be irreversible. CEO Fabio Schvartsman said the company will suspend iron-ore production at 10 mines in Minas Gerais, the state where both breaches occurred.