Budapest, Hungary (AHN) – Hungarian police have launched a criminal negligence investigation after a chemical sludge leak caused the worst ecological disaster in the country’s history, prompting the government to declare a national emergency.

Hungarian disaster management spokesman Dr. Attila Nyikos said that authorities have started a large-scale clean up drive but the process will take almost a year to eliminate waste from the aluminum plant reservoir in Veszprem county.

The incident claimed four lives and 120 others are under medical observation; three people are still missing. A day after the incident, the European Union expressed its fears that the sludge might go beyond Hungary’s borders through the Danube River.

“We’re concerned not just for the environment in Hungary but this potentially crosses borders,” EU spokesman Joe Hennon said.

If the sludge seeps into the river, it will affect nations like Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Moldova through which Danube flows before emptying into the Black Sea. According to Hungary’s disaster management agency, the sludge contains a mix of hazardous mining waste and water. It is a strong alkali, which agency explained that, if it comes in contact with skin, it would cause burns. Besides, it could also damage lungs and digestive system if swallowed. The ingestion could also be fatal too.

The agency confirmed that the reservoir near the Kolontar village stopped leaking on Wednesday.

The Hungarian company, which owns the plant, MAL, insisted that the reservoir did no show any signs of impending disaster, adding that its officers did not find anything untoward during their last examination of the reservoir pond on Monday.

It further said that the sludge could not considered hazardous under the EU norms. MAL’s comments came in contradiction with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who earlier said that the reservoir was inspected only two weeks ago.

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Hungary Launches Criminal Probe Into Toxic Spill

Budapest, Hungary (AHN) – Hungarian police have launched a criminal negligence investigation after a chemical sludge leak caused the worst ecological disaster in the country’s history, prompting the government to declare a national emergency.

Hungarian disaster management spokesman Dr. Attila Nyikos said that authorities have started a large-scale clean up drive but the process will take almost a year to eliminate waste from the aluminum plant reservoir in Veszprem county.

The incident claimed four lives and 120 others are under medical observation; three people are still missing. A day after the incident, the European Union expressed its fears that the sludge might go beyond Hungary’s borders through the Danube River.

“We’re concerned not just for the environment in Hungary but this potentially crosses borders,” EU spokesman Joe Hennon said.

If the sludge seeps into the river, it will affect nations like Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Moldova through which Danube flows before emptying into the Black Sea. According to Hungary’s disaster management agency, the sludge contains a mix of hazardous mining waste and water. It is a strong alkali, which agency explained that, if it comes in contact with skin, it would cause burns. Besides, it could also damage lungs and digestive system if swallowed. The ingestion could also be fatal too.

The agency confirmed that the reservoir near the Kolontar village stopped leaking on Wednesday.

The Hungarian company, which owns the plant, MAL, insisted that the reservoir did no show any signs of impending disaster, adding that its officers did not find anything untoward during their last examination of the reservoir pond on Monday.

It further said that the sludge could not considered hazardous under the EU norms. MAL’s comments came in contradiction with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who earlier said that the reservoir was inspected only two weeks ago.

Copyright © 2003 – 2010 AHN – All rights reserved.

Redistribution, republication. syndication, rewriting or broadcast is prohibited without the prior written consent of AHN.

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Copy and paste the following into your blog entry or the HTML on your page.

It will automatically deliver the article as the page loads.

THE WORK (AS DEFINED BELOW) IS PROVIDED UNDER THE TERMS OF THIS LICENSE (“LICENSE”). THE WORK IS PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT AND/OR OTHER APPLICABLE LAW. ANY USE OF THE WORK OTHER THAN AS AUTHORIZED UNDER THIS LICENSE OR COPYRIGHT LAW IS PROHIBITED.

BY EXERCISING ANY RIGHTS TO THE WORK PROVIDED HERE, YOU ACCEPT AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THE TERMS OF THIS LICENSE. TO THE EXTENT THIS LICENSE MAY BE CONSIDERED TO BE A CONTRACT, THE LICENSOR GRANTS YOU THE RIGHTS CONTAINED HERE IN CONSIDERATION OF YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF SUCH TERMS AND CONDITIONS.

1. Definitions

2. Fair Use Rights. Nothing in this license is intended to reduce, limit, or restrict any rights arising from fair use, first sale or other limitations on the exclusive rights of the copyright owner under copyright law or other applicable laws.

3. License Grant. Subject to the terms and conditions of this License, Licensor hereby grants You a worldwide, non-exclusive, revocable (for the duration of the applicable copyright) license to exercise the rights in the Work as stated below:

The above rights may be exercised on freely and openly accessible web media formats . The above rights include the right to make such modifications as are technically necessary to exercise the rights in other media and formats, but otherwise you have no rights to make any alterations or  Derivative Works. All rights not expressly granted by Licensor are hereby reserved, including but not limited to the rights set forth in Sections 4(d) and 4(e).

4. Restrictions.The license granted in Section 3 above is expressly made subject to and limited by the following restrictions:

5. Representations, Warranties and Disclaimer

UNLESS OTHERWISE MUTUALLY AGREED TO BY THE PARTIES IN WRITING, LICENSOR OFFERS THE WORK AS-IS AND ONLY TO THE EXTENT OF ANY RIGHTS HELD IN THE LICENSED WORK BY THE LICENSOR. THE LICENSOR MAKES NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND CONCERNING THE WORK, EXPRESS, IMPLIED, STATUTORY OR OTHERWISE, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, WARRANTIES OF TITLE, MARKETABILITY, MERCHANTIBILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, NONINFRINGEMENT, OR THE ABSENCE OF LATENT OR OTHER DEFECTS, ACCURACY, OR THE PRESENCE OF ABSENCE OF ERRORS, WHETHER OR NOT DISCOVERABLE. SOME JURISDICTIONS DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OF IMPLIED WARRANTIES, SO SUCH EXCLUSION MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU.

6. Limitation on Liability.

EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT REQUIRED BY APPLICABLE LAW, IN NO EVENT WILL LICENSOR BE LIABLE TO YOU ON ANY LEGAL THEORY FOR ANY SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, PUNITIVE OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF THIS LICENSE OR THE USE OF THE WORK, EVEN IF LICENSOR HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

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