The alumina plant at the heart of Hungary’s worst ecological disaster is to restart production tomorrow, but it will remain under state control for two years.
The news came as photos showed the faulty reservoir, which flooded and polluted the surrounding area, was apparently leaking four months before one of its walls broke last week.
The images are part of a growing body of evidence that inspectors, who gave the pit a clean bill of health, may have missed warning signs.
Nine people died when a torrent of toxic sludge engulfed the nearest town of Kolontar and inundated other nearby villages.
Work is continuing on an emergency dam to prevent potential further spills – that’s due to be completed on Friday too.
And the clean up operation goes on although environmental group Greenpeace says air pollutants raised by the leak could pose further health risks.