Disaster

Hungary's Toxic Sludge Hits Danube

The toxic sludge oozing through Hungary has hit the Danube River, and officials are watching out for signs of toxicity, like dead fish. So far, it seems ph levels in the red goo have reached an acceptable range. The sludge spewed from an aluminum plant reservoir that ruptured Monday in Ajka, about 100 miles west of Budapest. About 250 people had to be evacuated, and two children, an elderly woman, and a 35-year-old man died. The stuff originally had a ph of 13, but now the alkalinity has dropped to 9.3. That’s not neutral, but nevertheless, much safer. Workers are scrambling to dump plaster and fertilizer into the sludge to further neutralize it.