As authorities in Hungary race to construct an emergency dam to thwart a second toxic sludge spill, volunteers are sifting through the red poison looking for animals caught up in the industrial spill.
Farm, domestic and wild animals have all been affected by the disaster.
One of the animal rescue volunteers explains the problems the animals face: “The mud has a high alkaline content with a pH level of 13.7. This means the sludge soaks into their skin and the skin then splits next to the burnt areas.”
Police have arrested the head of the company at the centre of the spill. Zoltan Bakonyi is accused of endangering public safety and harming the environment.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Viktor Orban has appointed a state commissioner to take control of the MAL Zrt company and manage its assets.
The aluminium producer maintains it has performed extensive maintenance work and renovations in the past decade and followed safety procedures.
Scientists investigating the cause of the spill believe the soil on which the reservoir was constructed 30 years ago made the structure unstable.