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Residents inspect damage in a yard in Kolontar yesterday AP Photo/Darko Bandic
Toxic Sludge

Hungarian village evacuated as new reservoir damage found

Village of over 700 evacuated amid fears of fresh toxic sludge leak.

THE VILLAGE OF Kolontár in western Hungary was evacuated early this morning after new damage to the burst reservoir which spilled toxic sludge last week.

If the walls of the reservoir weaken any further, it is feared there could be a larger leak. Kolontár, a village of 715 people, was evacuated before dawn after Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orbán admitted it was “very likely” that the reservoir wall would collapse.

The village was ordered to evacuate “as a precaution” said Orbán, because what happens next is “unpredictable”. Orbán also said in parliament on Friday that those responsible for the disaster would be seriously punished.

“Behind this tragedy, some human errors and mistakes must exist. We will reveal all of that, and the consequences will be very serious — as much as you can imagine.”

But fears of the pollution reaching the Danube have dissipated after PH level tests carried out yesterday put the level in the river at 8.5 – only slightly above normal.

Over 500 residents in the neighbouring villages of Devecser and Somlovasarhely have also been evacuated.