TOXIC Red mud sludge in western Hungary

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There has never been a red mud disaster as serious as the one that hit seven villages in western Hungary on Monday. So far, about 1 million cubic metres (over 35 million cubic feet) of sludge has leaked from the Ajka alumina plant’s reservoir and affected an estimated area of 40 square kilometres (15.4 square miles). At least four people died in the flood and rescue workers are still looking for six who are missing. UNBELIEVABLE!.....

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  • I'd like to share this moving picture,that was taken after the spill.
    Poor pets and animals around the houses fell in large number,due to the toxic material:(((

  • Hi Bob,
    You are right,certainly you have experience on that field.
    Rescue workers started to take precautions to "neutralize" it,when the spill reaches natural waters,but there is such a huge amount of the toxic material,that damages will be done anyway,(I'm not being positive about it!)I think,especially,when it would reach water resources in the ground, will cause the water arsenic...etc.Too bad!
  • Dear Karenina and Amjad Ali!
    Thank you for your comments and concern,it is a very sad thing indeed!
    we live farfrom there,almost 300kms(thanks to God!),but the inhabitants there were all badly affected with that toxic flood!
    The gov.has have evacuated the whole area there!....It is a calamity there....
  • Bob said about this catastrophe:
    At 5:47pm on October 9, 2010, Bob said…
    Thank you for the video Monika. I have had to work around some of that material in the past. It is the residue of processing alumina and is what is left after the bauxite ore is treated with "caustic soda" (sodium hydroxide).

    I had some of that actually splash on my face which was protected by chemical goggles. I had shaved the day before and my skin felt like flames were on my face.

    I know that much of the caustic has been recovered by the time the used ore is dumped, but it is still very alkaline ( a high pH number as opposed to a low number for an acid). It will make leather boots fall apart after a few days of walking in it. Wood or ropes made from natural fibers just rot away very quickly. The stuff is really nasty. If you put olive oil or fat in with it the fat turns into soap. It used to be called Lye soap. Your fish and animals will be killed if very much reaches the river.
  • Dear Monica,
    It is indeed tragic and sad to see your country in such a calamity.It reminds me the destruction caused by flood in my country.May Allah save your people.I hope that you have been save and sound in your home.
    May Allah protect your people from such calamities in future.
    Amjad Ali
  • before the catastrophe
    A BLAST that took place in an aluminium factory some 160 km west of Budapest has claimed at least seven lives apart from injuring hundreds. Nine people have been reported as missing. The blast occurred in Kolontar district affecting five more near by villages. The blast which has traumatised scores of people and the government has declared a state of emergency and has urged people to stay away from the affected areas. Apart from the government, self help groups such as PACE Mevlüt Çavuolu have offered their help to prevent the situation from escalating.

    It is estimated that at least 1 million cubic metres of toxic chemicals were leaked out and have had profound affect on the lives of the locals.

    This red mud sludge is full of toxic waste from the aluminum factory, the heavy metals which are found in the laboratory tests, are extremely harmful for the environment and the life forms. It will also effect the water bodies since, there is a fear that if this toxic flood moves to Danube river, which is very much likely to happen, then all the neighboring countries like Romania, Croatia, from where the Danube river flows might also come under danger. The ground water samples which was collected from the disaster site proved the presence of high levels of arsenic. If this water makes it way into the Danube, it will pose great danger for most of the countries in Europe.

    Apart from the evacuation process initiated by the government, the authorities have also issued a notice to the people asking them to wear a face mask as the dry weather from last two days may get the toxins mixed in the air thus affecting the respiratory systems of the people.

    -after the toxic mud has flown over 6 villages-

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