From: Reuters, BUDAPEST
Published October 5, 2010 06:36 AM

Alumina sludge spill in Hungary kills three

Hungary declared a state of emergency in three western counties on Tuesday due to spill of toxic alumina sludge which has killed three people and injured more than 100 others, the news agency MTI reported.

The counties of Veszprem, Gyor-Moson-Sopron and Vas counties were covered by the state of emergency.


The disaster began on Monday when the dam of a sludge reservoir burst at the huge Ajkai Timfoldgyar Zrt plant, owned by MAL Zrt., flooding parts of three villages.

The National Disaster Unit (NDU) denied a report that the sludge reservoir's dam had broken at a second point, saying crews were pouring plaster into a nearby river to help neutralize the spill.

"We have poured multiple tonnes of plaster into the Marcal River and hope to stem the toxic flow that way. The toxicity of the sludge moderates with every kilometer," NDU spokeswoman Gyorgyi Tottos said.

"We have three people confirmed dead and another person who has not been confirmed to have died from the flood," he said.

Photo shows rescue workers cleaning up toxic sludge in the flooded village of Devecser, 150 km (93 miles) west of Budapest, October 5, 2010.
Credit: REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

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