CEO Arrested as Toxic Sludge Death Toll Rises

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Authorities have arrested the director of the company responsible for the flood of red toxic sludge in Hungary, as another person was found dead from the waste.

Monday, rescue teams found the body of a woman who'd been missing since the waste reservoir started leaking last week. The death toll now stands at eight.

Hungarian police also detained Zoltan Bakonyi, CEO of MAL Rt., the Hungarian Aluminum Production and Trade Company responsible for the disaster.

Red sludge is a byproduct of the refining of bauxite into alumina, the basic material used to make aluminum.

The company's reservoir failed to contain fully the sludge on Oct. 4, sending 1 million cubic meters of the toxic waste into nearby towns. The material can be deadly if ingested.

"The reservoir - which our men patrol daily - did not show any physical signs that something of this nature could happen," Bakonyi said late last week.

New cracks were found in the reservoir Monday, raising fears it could break and release more sludge. Workers are now building a containment wall as a precaution.

On Sunday, MAL Rt. said it was willing to pay compensation "in proportion to its responsibility" for the damage caused by the deluge.

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