Australian stocks are getting hammered

Photo: Alexander Hassenstein/ Getty.

Australian stocks fell hard.

The drop was being led by BHP which was down more than 5% to $21.55, its lowest level since late 2008.

The world’s biggest miner has shed 8% in value since a mine disaster in Brazil late Thursday left up to 29 dead.

Andrew Mackenzie, BHP’s CEO, will go to Brazil this week to understand first-hand the human, environmental and operational impacts of the incident. BHP jointly owns the iron ore mine with Vale.

BHP is reviewing its iron ore production guidance for the 2016 financial year following the accident.

On the ASX, Rio Tinto followed, falling 3.4% to $49.03 and Woodside Petroleum more than 3.3% to $28.98.

The banks also lost ground. The Commonwealth was down 1.9% to $75.11 and the NAB more than 2% to $28.02.

The ASX 200 dropped below 5200 points. A short time ago, the index was at 5,105.00, down 110.01 or 2.11%.

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