Fears of Second Toxic Sludge Spill in Hungary

Monday, October 11, 2010

A week after 35 million cubic feet of toxic sludge leaked out of an alumina plant reservoir in Ajka, Hungary killing seven people and creating one of the worst environmental disaster in European history, there are new fears this morning of another catastrophe. Four thousand workers and 300 machines are rushing to complete an emergency dam to prevent a second incident after new cracks were discovered in the reservoir's retaining wall.

Five environmental experts provided by the European Union are expected to arrive today, after the Hungarian government requested assistance from the EU. The full impact of the breach is yet to be felt, though reports say that all life in the Marcal River, which feeds into the Danube, has been decimated.

The BBC's Nick Thorpe is on the ground in Hungary. He's been trudging through the toxic sludge near the alumina plant, and reports on the latest developments.

Guests:

Nick Thorpe

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