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Oil, Schmoil. Hungary has toxic sludge!

Discussion in 'TRIBE Main Forum' started by sk8, Oct 8, 2010.

  1. sk8

    sk8 TRIBE Member

    Hungary declared a state of emergency in three counties Tuesday after a flood of toxic red sludge from an alumina plant engulfed several towns and burned people through their clothes.

    The toll rose to four dead, six missing and at least 120 people injured after a reservoir failed Monday at the Ajkai Timfoldgyar plant in Ajka, a town roughly 160 kilometres southwest of Budapest, the capital.

    Several hundred tonnes of plaster were being poured into the Marcal River to bind the toxic sludge and prevent it from flowing on, the National Disaster Management Directorate said.

    So far, about one million cubic metres of sludge has leaked from the reservoir, affecting an estimated 40 square kilometres, Environmental Affairs State Secretary Zoltan Illes told the state news wire MTI.

    Illes called the flood an "ecological catastrophe" and said the sludge could reach the Raba and Danube rivers. He suspended activity at the plant and ordered the company to repair the damaged reservoir.

    The disaster agency said 390 residents had to be temporarily relocated and 110 were rescued from the flooded towns, including Kolontal, Devecser and Somlovasarhely. Firefighters and soldiers swept through the region Tuesday carrying out cleanup tasks with bulldozers.

    The sludge, a waste product in aluminum production, contains heavy metals and is toxic if ingested.

    Many of the injured sustained burns as the sludge seeped through their clothes, and two were in critical condition. Two women, a young man and a three-year-old child were killed in the flooding.

    A Hungarian soldier, wearing chemical protection gear, cleans a street flooded by toxic mud in Devecser on Tuesday. (Bela Szandelszky/Associated Press)
    The injured were being monitored because the chemical burns caused by the sludge could take days to emerge and what may seem like superficial injuries could later cause damage to deeper tissue, Dr. Peter Jakabos of Gyor hospital, where several of the injured were taken, told state television.

    In Devecser, the sludge in Tunde Erdelyi's house was still 1.5 metres high Tuesday and rescue workers had to use an axe to cut through her living room door to let the red liquid flow out.

    "When I heard the rumble of the flood, all the time I had was to jump out the window and run to higher ground," said a tearful Erdelyi, still shocked by the events but grateful that the family rabbit and cat were safe.

    Robert Kis, Erdelyi's husband, said his uncle had been taken to Budapest by helicopter after the sludge "burned him to the bone."

    The toxic flood overturned Erdelyi's car and pushed it to the back of the garden while her husband's van was lifted up onto a fence. Erdelyi, a seamstress, was hoping the flood spared the shop in town where she worked, her family's main source of income.

    In neighbouring Kolontal, the town closest to the aluminum plant, 61-year old widow Erzsebet Veingartner was in her kitchen when the sludge flood hit Monday afternoon.

    "I looked outside and all I saw was the stream swelling like a huge wave," said Veingartner, who lives on a monthly disability pension. "Thank God I had the presence of mind to turn off the gas and run up to the attic."

    Veingartner, devastated by her losses, looked out at her backyard still covered by red sludge.

    "I have a winter's worth of firewood in the basement and it's all useless now," she said. "I lost all my chickens, my ducks, my Rottweiler, and my potato patch. My late husband's tools and machinery were in the shed and it's all gone."

    Local environmentalists say they have tried to call the government's attention to the risks of red sludge for years.

    "Accumulated during decades ... red sludge is, by volume, the largest amount of toxic waste in Hungary," the Clear Air Action Group said, adding that producing one tonne of alumina resulted in two tonnes of toxic waste.

    MAL Rt., the Hungarian Aluminum Production and Trade Company that owns the Ajka plant, said that according to European Union standards, the red sludge was not considered toxic waste.

    The company also denied that it should have taken more precautions to shore up the reservoir.

    "According to the current evaluation, company management could not have noticed the signs of the natural catastrophe nor done anything to prevent it even while carefully respecting technological procedures," MAL said in a statement.

    CBC News - World - Hungary sludge flood kills 4

    CBC News - World - Danube monitored after sludge flood

  2. sk8

    sk8 TRIBE Member

    There are some crazy pictures in the gallery in the links.
  3. ndrwrld

    ndrwrld TRIBE Member

    be interesting to see what this looks like from way up in the air / space.
  4. rawd

    rawd TRIBE Member

    Probably the same, just really really small
  5. Dirty Girl

    Dirty Girl TRIBE Member

    2012 folks, TwentyTwelve

    thats a like a full on flood. thats a shit load of toxic sludge.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010
  6. Wiseman

    Wiseman TRIBE Member

    DG, I think you need to check your clock settings as the year is actually 2010.
  7. sk8

    sk8 TRIBE Member

  8. Dirty Girl

    Dirty Girl TRIBE Member

    Wiseass, I think you need to check you funny button, cause its obviously broken.
  9. acheron

    acheron TRIBE Member

  10. Sal De Ban

    Sal De Ban TRIBE Member

    how does it stand up to Lil' Lisa Slurry?

  11. skin deep

    skin deep TRIBE Member

    Go Oilers!
  12. glych t.anomaly

    glych t.anomaly TRIBE Member

  13. ndrwrld

    ndrwrld TRIBE Member

    them UFO's are doing a huge u-turn right about now.
    even they have morals.
  14. Deus

    Deus TRIBE Member

    How the hell did that break right open like that?
  15. rawd

    rawd TRIBE Member

    Where have I seen that red sludge before.. OH SHI

  16. maphi

    maphi TRIBE Member

    This is Alberta's future with all the tarsands tailing ponds.
  17. erika

    erika TRIBE Member

    Is appalling. And the scale of that thing utterly scary :(
  18. JamesM

    JamesM TRIBE Member

    They were saying the amount might equal the gulf spill.
  19. JamesM

    JamesM TRIBE Member

  20. ghaleon

    ghaleon TRIBE Member


    thx for the pics link
  21. Jeffsus

    Jeffsus TRIBE Member

    Yesterday I woke up to a 'lady of the night' complaining of lack of electricity. She happens to be a tennant. I advised her I was too intoxicated to help but gave references to a qualified electrician. In the meanwhile I met up with her daughter and we went outside. Beautiful weather.

    As it turns out, she shagged her ex BF in a bush the night before and regailed me on details. For reasons I still can't comprehend, he pulled out to jizz on her wallet, which she lapped up, apparently, to his appreciation. But we shared more than useless hangover stories, we also smoked.

    The electrics were eventually fixed somehow and I requested to leave, in strong part because the daughter and I had finished the case of beer I'd sent for. Labatt's Blue. THe daughter and her mom were fighting. I was wobbly after so many pops.

    I ended up at the bar that is the bane of my existence. There, was a man whom I'm convinced is homeless. Yet, he was the only one willing to go to dinner with me, so we did, at a great Rodizio grill house where we filled our bellies and tried the vintages.

    The gauchos were a bit reticent, at our sight. We were not dressed or in proper accord for the place. But they know me, and they let it pass, as a result of my general accord.

    Afterwards and outside, we met up with a gentleman in a wheelchair, acquintance of sorts. We could not get him into a bus or taxi so we finished with shots of Amarula at a nearby Ethiopian establishment.

  22. erika

    erika TRIBE Member

    I love your stories!! <3
  23. Ho||yw0oD

    Ho||yw0oD TRIBE Member

    My eyes! The goggles do nothing!
  24. geminigirl

    geminigirl TRIBE Member


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