Seven people have died and three Hungarian towns have been flooded with toxic sludge that burns skin on contact. The disaster began when the dam of a reservoir storing the waste of an aluminum production plant broke this past Monday. Hungarian officials estimate the amount of sludge to be about 184 million gallons – almost equal with the 205 million gallons of oil in the BP oil spill. Curiously, the initial estimate of sludge from Hungarian officials was 30% more than the BP spill, but not even an hour later this estimate was revised. This morning, Hungarian officials warned the remaining walls of the reservoir were “very likely” to break and cause another surge of sludge through the already ravaged area.
The aluminum production company, MAL, has claimed they have done nothing wrong and that European Union standards do not classify the sludge as “hazardous.” However, even though the waste is not radioactive, there are reports of people being burnt to their bone, as well as likely respiratory issues once the sludge dries and turns to dust. Hungary’s Prime Minister has said there is “no sense” in rebuilding the worst hit area. The video below shows the force of the red sludge.