Polluted water waste from an iron ore mine in Slovakia has turned the Slana River orange and is killing fish and wildlife. The river runs into Hungary and will continue to kill many along the way.

Source: Inside Edition/Youtube

Authorities are trying to reduce the amount of polluted water that is coming out of the state-owned mine, but there is so much damage that has already been done. The locals near the mine are in despair.

Reuters reported that a local 35-year-old man, Tibor Varga, has been monitoring the river situation since it began in February. The surgeon and keen angler says that he has seen the slow death of wildlife due to the river’s now high levels of iron and zinc.

“There is no living creature underneath the pebbles, we can see only rust,” he said, as he lifted a sample.

“This high iron content covers the gill of the fish and… reduces the surface where the fish breathe, and they start to suffocate.”

The mining company, Rudne Bane, says that the water flowing into the river was underground water emerging from a flooded iron ore pocket. The pocket was mined until 2008. Director Peter Zitnan told Reuters that “due to chemical reactions, some metals and other materials got into the water which flows out,” adding that the color of the water was because of the high iron levels.

The economy minister of Slovakia told Rudne Bane on May 13th to make sure that the water was not flowing into deeper parts of the mine. They also asked the finance ministry to release 200,000 euros to help the situation because they said the mining company “was not responsible for the situation which has been brewing over the past 10 years.”

Hungarian water authorities have been closely monitoring the situation, but so far, the water has only been slightly brown once it’s reached the country due to dilution along the way. We hope that the country can help the water pollution before it kills more creatures.

Sign this petition to stop industrial industries from dumping harmful toxic chemicals into our waterways!

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