Hungary: Toxic sludge reservoir 'very likely' to collapse




Hungary’s premier said today the northern wall of a red sludge reservoir which burst and flooded several towns with toxic waste is showing ever-larger cracks and is “very likely” to collapse.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban described the situation as “dramatic” and said the town of Kolontar, which sits next to the reservoir and was badly damaged in Monday’s flood.

The town was evacuated early today as a precaution because engineers have determined that the developing cracks could cause a whole side of the enormous container to collapse.

The town has a population of about 800.

In neighbouring Devecser, with a population of 5,300 and next after Kolontar in the likely path of a new sludge deluge, police asked residents to put their most essential belongings into a single bag and prepare for possible evacuation.

At least seven people died and more than 120 were injured when a corner of the metals plant reservoir gave way and up to 700,000 cubic meters (184 million gallons) of toxic waste flooded several towns in western Hungary.

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