Hungary Toxic Sludge: An Environmental Nightmare

October 6, 2010 |  by  |  Breaking News
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Hundreds of people were evacuated from Hungary Monday after a large sludge reservoir burst at a metals plant spewing a deep red hazardous mess everywhere. On Wednesday, cleanup crews were still struggling to restore order to the areas hit the hardest.

The Hungary toxic sludge disaster took place in Ajka, Hungary, which is about 100 miles southwest of the capital Budapest. The flood of toxic sludge completely inundated homes, pushed cars off roads and destroyed bridges, while covering neighboring towns with an estimated 35.3 million cubic feet of toxic waste.

Hungarian authorities have declared a state of emergency and are afraid that the disaster could threaten the Danube River. Unfortunately, four people have died as a result of the sludge, three are reported missing and an additional 120 are injured.

Associated Press reports that the waste itself is bright red in color and “is a waste product in aluminum production that contains heavy metals and is toxic if ingested.”

Erzsebet Veingartner, a 61-year-old widow, was in her home when the 12-foot wave of waste plowed into her home, taking everything with it. She recounts the ordeal,

I looked outside and all I saw was the stream swelling like a huge wave. I lost all my chickens, my ducks, my Rottweiler, and my potato patch. My late husband’s tools and machinery were in the shed and it’s all gone. I have a winter’s worth of firewood in the basement and it’s all useless now.

Similar tales of devastation weren’t hard to find in the small Hungarian town. This ecological catastrophe has prompted a full-scale investigation. EU spokesman, Joe Hennon explains, “We are going to look very carefully at the outcome of what caused this, what the effects are, and then we will assess whether we do need to look again at the legislation.”


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1 Comment

  1. That might just be the most unintentionally funny heaadline I have ever seen. I can totally see Jay Leno showing it on Headlines!!
    “Mmmm…. Hungry Sludge!!!” Hhahaha. Love it!!


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