On 5 November 2015, the Fundão iron mine tailings dam operated by Samarco collapsed and became the largest tailings incident ever recorded. 50 million tons of pollutants and toxic waste were released along 400 miles of the waterway into the Doce River, contaminating crops and drinking water, and killing 19 people.
The failure of the dam also caused a toxic brown mudflow to pollute the river and nearby beaches when it reached the Atlantic Ocean 17 days later.
The disaster turned into a humanitarian crisis, with hundreds of citizens displaced and cities along the Doce River suffering water shortages after the water supplies became polluted. The total impact of the disaster is still unknown; environmental consequences and alleged heavy metal-related health risks are still being investigated.