Hungary toxic sludge reaches Danube River: Top 10 environmental disasters worldwide

9. Baia Mare cyanide spill, 2000

When a dam that had been holding back water contaminated from gold mining in Baia Mare, Romania broke, it released millions of gallons of water laced with cyanide and other heavy metals. The contaminated water reached the waterways of Romania, Hungary, and Yugoslavia, including the Danube River, and although rapid response prevented any human deaths, it resulted in massive fish kills. Greenpeace Hungary Director Zsolt Szegfalvi said that the amount of toxic material that poured out of the containment pool on Monday is almost 10 times the amount of material that was released in Baia Mare. Although the area is once again safe, Mr. Szegfalvi said, traces of the chemicals released in 2000 can still be found in the area around Baia Mare today.

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