Posts Tagged ‘Hungary Toxic Mud Disaster’

Hungary Fortifies Against A Second Leak

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

Toxic Mud in HungaryHungary suffered an unimaginable environmental disaster last week when toxic sludge leaked from an alumina plant, prompting an evacuation of nearly all 800 residents of the town of Kolontar. Red sludge is the byproduct of refining bauxite into alumina, the essential component of aluminum. The sludge is typically treated to reduce its alkalinity, resulting in a final byproduct of harmless red clay. Unfortunately, that treatment was not practiced at this particular plant such that when the sludge leak flooded local villages, it killed at least seven people and injured more than 100 more, causing severe burns. Approximately 184 million gallons of the toxic red sludge were released into the environment.

But there may be more leaks to follow. Local authorities just discovered expanding cracks on the plant reservoir wall. They believe that the wall could collapse within the week. Emergency teams are racing against time to fortify the facility against a second leak before the next rainstorm. Sadly, environmental disasters continue to increase in frequency and severity.

This photograph shows a view from space of the toxic mud leak in Hungary, courtesy of NASA.