- STARI SLANKAMEN, Yugoslavia
(AFP) - Cyanide-laced water pumped from a Romanian mine flowed into the
Danube Sunday after passing through Hungary into Yugoslavia, where a minister
said two tonnes of dead fish had already been collected.
- The pollution entered the Danube near Stari Slankamen,
50 kilometresmiles) from Belgrade at midday (1100 GMT), according to local
fishermen, after flowing down the Tisa River from Hungary.
- Serbia's environment minister, Branislav Blazic, said
that around two tonnes of dead fish had been taken from the Tisa since
the cyanide entered Yugoslav waters on Friday, the state news agency Tanjug
- No new figures on cyanide levels were released Sunday
morning by the Serbian ministry of agriculture, water and forestry, but
samples taken the day before had indicated that levels were falling in
- The ministry said 0.13 milligrammes of cyanide had been
measured per litre of water in the Tisa early Saturday, but it had fallen
to 0.07 milligrammes two hours later.
- Blazic said that Romania should be brought before the
International Court of Justice in the Hague and forced to pay damages for
the cyanide spill, which began at an Australian-owned mine on its territory.
- In what Hungary has branded Europe's worst ecological
accident since the 1986 disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine,
an estimated 100,000 cubic metres (3.5 million cubic feet) of cyanide --
used to separate gold from ore -- were released from the Aurul gold mine
in northern Romania on February 1 after a reservoir wall collapsed.
- The cyanide first entered the Somes river in Romania,
before passing into Hungary's Tisza river (the Magyar version of Tisa),
where the poison reached a density of 800 times its accepted maximum level.
- Hungarian foreign ministry spokesman Gabor Horvath reported
last week that the cyanide had devastated the water's fish stocks, leaving
a "five-kilometre (three-mile) long carpet of dead fish floating along
- The mine's owners and Romanian officials, however, have
downplayed the effects of the leak, accusing Hungary of gross exaggeration.
- The Yugoslav government has banned the use of the Tisa's
waters, and temporarily outlawed fishing on the river and on a portion
of the Danube. Downstream of the spill the Danube flows through Belgrade,
runs along the Bulgarian and Romanian border then empties into the Black
- SIGHTINGS HOMEPAGE
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