On October 14, 2010 at 12:25pm in Ajka, Veszprém county, Hungary; around a million cubic metres (35 million cubic feet) of toxic waste was released after a retaining wall in one of the reservoirs used for the accumulation of red mud (a toxic waste product from making aluminium) burst. The company at fault was MAL Hungarian Aluminium.
The mud was released as a 1–2 m (3–7 ft) wave, flooding several nearby localities, including the village of Kolontár and the town of Devecser. At least nine people died and 122 people were injured. About 40 square kilometres (15 sq mi) of land was initially affected. [Source: Wikipedia].
For a full gallery of the initial flood of toxic sludge, check out this post on the Big Picture.
Six months after the accident, photographer Palindromo Meszaros took a series of photos documenting the disaster called ‘The Line‘. The image above is the first from the series and has garnered serious buzz online in the last week.
The image not only captures the damage and long lasting impact of the event, but disorients viewers as Meszaros matched the red sludge line perfectly with the horizon line for the shot. For those wondering what the ‘thing’ is in the background (right side), it’s an outdoor sign with a little roof over it.