Toxic Sludge Reaches Danube

Hungarian spill moves into Europe's 2nd largest river
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2010 2:59 PM CDT
Dead fish, victims of the toxic red sludge that spilled Monday from a giant industrial container, in the River Marcal near Boba, Hungary, Thursday.   (AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky)
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(Newser) – A spill of toxic waste has reached a branch of Europe's second largest river, the Danube. The sludge from a burst containment reservoir in Hungary has already devastated the first river it came into contact with, the Marcal, reports Voice of America. EU officials say that all fish and wildlife in the Marcal are dead, and the Hungarian prime minister, after visiting three villages downstream of the spill, declared the region a total loss, notes VOA.

EU environmental authorities are now trying to neutralize the sludge, a byproduct from the manufacture of aluminum. Samples show that the alkalinity of the Danube's water is falling as the larger river dilutes the spill, but many are still worried about the effects on the Danube's ecosystem and the six countries downstream.

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