Hungary Sludge Flood Metals Company Fined $647M

September 15, 2011

Hungarian officials say the metals company whose broken reservoir flooded several towns with toxic red sludge in October, killing 10 people, has been fined 135.1 billion forints ((euro) 472 million, $647 million) for environmental damages.

A 10-hectare (25-acre) reservoir at the MAL Rt. metals plant collapsed Oct. 4 and released a torrent of some 700,000 cubic meters (184 million gallons) of red sludge, a byproduct of aluminum production, on three towns in western Hungary. The highly caustic material also injured more than 150 people.

The Ministry of Rural Development says the fine levied by regional environmental authorities takes into account the “unprecedented” amount of hazardous material released during the incident.

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