Burst Dam Releases Sea of Toxic Mud Death toll could be high in Brazil mine disaster By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff Posted Nov 6, 2015 3:56 AM CST 29 comments Comments An aerial view of the devastation. (YouTube) (Newser) – A small town in Brazil was buried in a sea of mud after a dam burst at an iron-ore mining operation Thursday, killing an unknown number of people. At least 16 people and possibly many more are believed to be missing in Minas Gerais state in the southeast of the country, where the homes in the town of Bento Rodrigues were destroyed by mud and water that had probably been rendered toxic by the mining operations, the BBC reports. Residents in the area downhill have been told to head for higher ground, reports the AP. The chief executive of mine operator BHP says most of the disaster "has been under the cloak of darkness" and "an awful lot more" will be done at daybreak, per the Guardian.