Red-mid spill near Kolontar

Red-mud catastrophe in Hungary

Gruiz Katalin

On Monday, 4th October 2010, the corner of a reservoir holding bauxite refining waste at the alumina production facility in Western Hungary, near Ajka broke. The pond contained bauxite residue  „red mud” suspended in high pH NaOH solution. The likely reason of the breach was probably sliding of the clayee soil underlying the  dike.

An estimated  amount of 800 000 m3 red mud of high alkalinity has flooded three villages, has swept bridges, cars and unfortunately led to human casualties and intense environmental damage. Ten people have died due to the strong mud-flow, which flooded the streets and homes. There were 60 other injured victims reported.

The  breach of the bauxite residue container pond dike near Ajka, Western Hungary is introduced in pictures. The human and environmental hazard of the alkalic red-mud, its risk posed on the area downstream and the possible solutions are also discussed in this photo-album.

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