5 October 2010

The Hungarian tailings dam accident – images of the failure of the impounding embankment

Posted by Dave Petley

Thanks to both  Peter Diehl, PeterOi and an anonymous commenter for pointing out the locations of images of the embankment that failed to release the landslide of toxic sludge in Hungary.  The best one is probably this image, from Der Standard in Austria:

The failure appears to have occurred in the corner of the embankment, as shown in this Google Earth image:

I cannot quite work out the internal structure of the embankment from the image – it looks rather peculiar, but I’ll reserve judgement until better information is available.

Meanwhile, the mainstream media has finally cottoned onto the story, which now appears near to the top of the BBC News front page.  The BBC article has a good image of the impact of the material downhill from the breach, paired with a map of the location:

The article also notes that there are now real concerns about this sludge causing an environmental disaster when and it it enters the river system; and that four people died and six remain missing.