Killer cyanide spill flows into Danube : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Tons of dead fish have already been pulled
from the cyanide-laced water of the Tisza
River, which flows through Hungary and
into Serbia, after the cyanide spill at a
Romanian gold mine two weeks ago.

Dispatch Online

-- spider (, February 15, 2000


Yesterday's Australian TV news coverage featured Danube River footage of floating fish and a voice over saying the river was mostly dead already after years of war and pollution. It seemed to imply that another bit of cyanide added to a heady mix that is the Danube today. You can't kill a river that's dead already...(that was my take on the story)

Regards from OZ

-- Pieter (, February 15, 2000.

Now it's not just cyanide in the water.



"BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (AP) -- Serbia's Agriculture Ministry on Tuesday warned of dangerous metal concentrations in an East European river already contaminated by a cyanide spill.

The ministry said laboratory tests showed considerably increased iron and copper levels in the Tisza river, where the cyanide spill has wiped out virtually all life. The cyanide poured into streams from a containment dam at a gold mine near the Romanian town of Baia Mare on Jan. 30.

The World Health Organization earlier had expressed concern that heavy metals such as lead and cadmium also might have escaped into the water, posing potentially a far greater health threat.

In Belgrade, Predrag Polic, head of the university's Chemistry faculty, said someone ``may have abused the commotion around the cyanide spill to dump excessive lead quantities into the Tisza.''

Lead -- among the world's top three pollutants -- degrades very slowly and can contaminate food for years. ``This odorless metal is highly toxic and attacks the nervous system,'' Polic said.


"Hunters and rangers reported seeing the first dead land animals, presumably poisoned after drinking from the river, the independent Beta news agency said."


-- Rachel Gibson (, February 15, 2000.

News from Austr alia

(for educational purposes only)

"Romanian Govt refuses compo over cyanide spill

The Romanian Government is refusing to pay compensation to its neighbours for the cyanide spill at a mine co-owned by an Australian company.

At the same time, Hungary is intending to sue the company for damages through Australian courts. The Romanian government had initially played down he effects of the cyanide spill at the Aural gold mine, but with compensation demands flowing in from neighbouring Hungary and Yugoslavia, Romania now says it has suffered more than anyone else and is equally entitled to any restitution.

In Budapest, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told a press conference that Hungary expects to launch several legal actions against Aural gold in both international and Australian courts and was considering taking action against Romania as well.

Mr Orban said preliminary studies showed at least 20 protected species had been killed in the Tisza River and that it would take 10 to 15 years for the river to recover."

-- Rachel Gibson (, February 15, 2000.

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