The red sludge that, in the words of one official, extinguished all life in Hungary’s Marcal River has now reached the blue Danube, the second longest river in Europe. The disaster began at a waste reservoir in western Hungary where 33 million cubic feet of toxic material began its long spill, reaching more than 6.5 feet high in places.

The spill has been diluted along the way, and the Danube has significantly greater volume than the Marcal, but officials are still worried about the environmental impact on one of Europe’s great waterways. — PZS


Disaster official Tibor Dobson said all life in the Marcal river, which feeds the Danube, had been “extinguished”.

The BBC’s Nick Thorpe in western Hungary says news that the spill has now reached the Danube is worrying.

Tests are being carried out for two potential hazards — a powerful alkaline solution and heavy metals.

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