Tuesday, October 5, 2010
"The Hungarian government has declared a state of emergency after a third person died today in flooding from a ruptured red sludge reservoir at an alumina plant. Six people were missing and 120 injured in what officials said was an ecological disaster.
The sludge, a waste product in aluminum production, contains heavy metals and is toxic if ingested. Many of the injured suffered burns as the sludge seeped through their clothes. Two of the injured were in life-threatening condition. An elderly woman, a young man and a three-year-old child were killed.
The chemical burns could take days to reveal themselves and what may seem like superficial injuries could disguise damage to deeper tissue, Peter Jakabos, a doctor at a hospital in Gyor where several of the injured were taken, said on state television.
The government declared a state of emergency in three western counties affected by the flooding. 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."