Three employees and two contractors for Brazilian miner Vale SA have been arrested as a criminal investigation into the dam rupture that killed up to about 340 people begins in earnest.
Two of those arrested were Vale's senior managers at the Corrego do Feijao mine, where a tailings dam broke on Friday, flooding the nearby town of Brumadinho with mud and, reportedly, mining waste. The job of the third Vale employee was not immediately clear.
Two other engineers, who worked on behalf of Vale and are accused of attesting to the safety of the dam, were arrested in Sao Paulo, state prosecutors there said.
Minas Gerais state investigators also issued seven search warrants on suspicion of murder, falsification of documents and environmental crimes, a judge's decision showed.
Vale said it was cooperating with investigators in the case over the deadly collapse which has enraged Brazilians and raised fresh questions about the company's commitment to safety.
'The design of those dams was premeditated'
However, the disaster remained unforgivable in the eyes of many Brazilians, particularly as it followed a deadly 2015 tailings dam collapse just a few towns over at a mine half-owned by Vale.
Chief Financial Officer Luciano Siani said Vale was doing all it could, offering money to mourners, extra tax payments to local government, a special membrane to remove mud from the river and major investments to make its dams safer.
Residents in the devastated town of Brumadinho have been unmoved however, as one dead body after another has been pulled from the mud.
Robinson Passos, 52, who lost a cousin and friends in Brumadinho and said the company was "destroying Minas Gerais.".
"There's anger, sadness, everything," he said, holding back tears as he surveyed the destruction in Corrego do Feijao, a hamlet within Brumadinho that gave its name to the mine at the center of the disaster.
At the headquarters for the local mining union in Brumadinho, which lost more than one in 10 members by organisers' count, treasurer Jos Francisco Mateiro, blamed the company and authorities for putting him and his comrades at risk.
"They call it an accident but the design of those dams was premeditated," he said. "There have been warnings about all mining dams for a long time now."
Vale chief executive Fabio Schvartsman said the facility was up to code and equipment had shown the dam was stable just two weeks before the collapse.
"We are 100 percent within all the standards, and that didn't do it," he said on Sunday.
Siani said the company would donate 100,000 reais (NZ$39,310) to each family that had lost a loved one, adding the company would continue paying mining royalties to Brumadinho despite a halt in operations there.
The company was building a membrane to stop the flow of mud now snaking down the Paraopeba River. A "bold" investment plan also would speed the process of making dams more secure, he said.
Prosecutors and politicians have not been impressed, however.
On Monday, a presidential task force contemplated forcing out Vale's management.
Government ministers have said Brazil's mining regulations are broken. The country's top prosecutor said the company should be criminally prosecuted and executives held personally responsible.