'Is this what ten people's lives are worth? | Lajos Nagy/MTI

2010 red sludge spill accused acquitted

January 28, 2016

All 15 suspects in connection with Hungary’s 2010 red sludge disaster were acquitted by a local court in Veszprém, W Hungary. In a non-binding sentence, the defendants were acquitted of charges of carelessness and causing a public hazard, harming the environment and violating rules of waste management.

In what was Hungary’s worst environmental disaster, some one million cubic meters of toxic red sludge escaped from the reservoir of the MAL company’s aluminium plant, flooding two nearby villages and a town.

The toxic spill killed ten people, injured over 200, destroyed 358 homes, wiped out basically all life in two small rivers and polluted over 1,000 hectares of land.

The non-binding sentence caused some outcry in the Hungarian public, but some legal experts are of the view that the court made the right decision and it was the fault of the prosecutor's office not to charge those who bear the real responsibility.


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