Towns hit by Hungary sludge flood slowly rebuild

By PABLO GORONDI | July 14, 2011 | 11:14 AM EDT

KOLONTAR, Hungary (AP) — The flood of toxic red sludge that devastated Hungarian villages in October has cost the country over $158 million (euro111 million) in damages and reconstruction costs.

One neighborhood in Kolontar, the town most affected by the deluge, has been demolished and many former residents have moved into new, state-financed homes.

Last fall, a reservoir at a metals plant collapsed, releasing a torrent of 700,000 cubic meters (184 million gallons) of caustic red sludge, a byproduct of aluminum production. The deluge killed 10 people and injured over 150 in western Hungary.