Charity Drive for the Victims of an Alumina Sludge Spill in Hungary
Several small towns in western Hungary were contaminated with toxic red sludge when a severe industrial chemical accident occurred in October 2010.
The waste reservoir of an alumina plant factory had ruptured, unleashing a mudslide that flooded several communities in the surrounding area. The wall collapsed for reasons unknown, spilling roughly one million cubic meters of sludge that affected some 40 square kilometers of land. The mudflow wreaked havoc in seven villages, engulfing streets and cars, flooding more than a hundred houses, and destroying all vegetation apart from trees. Authorities declared a state of emergency in three districts, and hundreds were compelled to evacuate their homes. Four people were killed, and more than 120 injured.
The employees of Vincotech Hungary Kft. in Bicske launched a charity drive, and the company more than doubled the staff’s donations to 1,670,000 Ft (about 6,200 €). In a joint effort with two other Hungarian enterprises, Vincotech worked out a plan to help the people affected by the catastrophe, providing direct, effective support on site. Coordinating with the mayor of Kolontár, the company contributed to the village school’s renovation. The school was reopened at a ceremony on April 20, 2011. The residents of Kolontár put up a commemorative plaque to express their appreciation.