Cracked Hungarian Reservoir Near Collapse

Likely to spill another wave of red sludge, PM warns
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 9, 2010 5:58 AM CDT
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban speaks to the media after police and army officials evacuated western Hungary's village of Kolontar.   (STR)
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(Newser) – A new wave of industrial red sludge will likely wash over Hungary, PM Viktor Orban said today, with the enormous reservoir whose corner gave way earlier this week showing further cracks, and an entire wall "very likely" to collapse. Calling the situation "dramatic," Orban said that nearby villages had been evacuated and work had started on dams to slow the flow of the sludge—which the AP reports could unleash up to an additional 500,000 cubic meters of waste.

"We have no exact information about the nature of the material because a catastrophe like this has never happened before anywhere in the world," Orban said. "We have only assumptions about how far and with how much force the material can come out of the storage container." Orban said the disaster was avoidable, and while "Human errors and mistakes must exist ... the (legal) consequences will be very serious."

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