Hungary and EU alarmed after toxic red sludge nears the Danube River

A toxic red sludge that burst through an alumina plant in western Hungary has reached the Raba River on Thursday which scientists believe may cause havoc to the eco system of the area.

ITN Video of toxic red sludge in Hungary

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Emergency services are working round the clock to try and prevent the red sludge which has so far killed four people and injured hundreds to spill into the Danube, a major river that goes through and the borders of several countries in Europe before entering the Black Sea.

Officials have said that the alkali level in the red sludge is at pH 9 where as anything above pH 6-8 is regarded as dangerous.

Fire crews have been working since Monday to pump out the toxic sludge, out of the several towns and villages where huge leftovers were still remaining.

Over 1,000 tones of plaster was poured into the Marcal river to try and keep the sludge under control and entering the Danube river.

Other material has also been used to try and weaken the toxic levels in the red sludge to cause less danger.

The Danube river is the second largest in Europe going through several countries and contains many animal species which live off the river.

The EU is also very concerned with the matter which is now considered to be the worst ecological disaster in the history of Hungary and should the toxic red sludge reach the Danube; Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Moldova could also be affected before the water reaches the Black Sea.

Many of the injured suffered burns to the body as the toxic sludge burned the skin through cloths while the four fatalities were due to drowning as the sometimes two metre high sludge washed through nearby villages.

Three people have also been reported missing after the catastrophe.

Hungary have said that the cleaning task may take up to a year but the good news was that the sludge has stopped leaking from the reservoir.

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