The boss of the Hungarian aluminium firm linked to last week’s massive spill of toxic sludge has been arrested.
Zoltan Bakonyi, head of MAL Zrt, can be held for 72 hours.
As emergency teams race to build a new dam to prevent a second spill, the authorities have also proposed nationalising the company. The prime minister has blamed “human negligence” for the disaster, repeating that those responsible must be held accountable.
Eight people are now known to have been killed by last week’s tidal wave of red sludge that caused widespread pollution.
Residents moved from a nearby village have been told they must remain in emergency accommodation for now.
A team of EU environmental experts is due to begin work alongside the Hungarian authorities in
dealing with the damage.
The government also says that the company that owns the alumina plant might have to pay up to 73 million euros in fines.
The firm says it’s ready to pay compensation in proportion to its responsibility.
Three of its owners are estimated to be among the hundred richest people in Hungary.
Founded in 1995, the company bought up firms in the metals industry amid a wave of
privatisation following the end of communism.