Preliminary investigation points to unsuitable dam foundations as a potential cause of Hungary’s Oct. 4 tailings dam collapse. Seven people died, 150 were injured, and approximately 1,000 hectares of land were polluted heavily by caustic “red mud” surging from an alumina plant at Ajka, say Interior Ministry officials.
Hungarian emergency teams appear to have saved the Raba, Moson-Danube and Danube rivers from the caustic pollution. But heightened pH levels caused by the sludge devastated fish populations in the Marcal River, according to government officials. Hungary’s other tailings dams are under investigation.