Hungary spill plant reopens despite warnings

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Hungary spill plant reopens despite warnings

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It is business as usual at the aluminium plant behind the toxic sludge spill in Hungary.

Despite warnings from environmentalists that the affected area may not yet be safe, the authorities have allowed production to restart.

Many displaced families are returning to their homes after the flood of industrial waste which killed nine people last week.

The country’s economists are already counting the cost of the clean-up operation.

Market analyst Zoltan Torok said: “In my calculations it can not be more that 20 billion Hungarian forints, which doesn’t even amount to 100 million euros. So it’s not an amount that would destroy the budget picture in Hungary.”

Government scientists have been carrying out tests on the red sludge – a highly caustic by-product of aluminium – to ascertain the level of danger facing returning refugees.

Professor Janos Szepvolgyi of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences said: “After cleaning the area no post effect on their health and their living conditions is to be expected.”

Local farmers disagree saying nearby grazing land has been rendered useless.