World

Hungarian premier visits sludge-hit village

Hungary's prime minister has visited one of three villages inundated by red sludge and declared the worst-hit area a write-off.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban says he sees "no sense" in rebuilding in the same location houses made uninhabitable by the torrent that poured Monday from a breached reservoir at a nearby alumina factory.

Local officials say 34 houses in the village of about 800 were so badly damaged by the caustic slurry that they cannot be refurbished. Orban spoke Thursday after an unannounced dawn visit to Kolontar.

There are fears that the toxic torrent will cause serious ecological damage to the Danube after being carried downstream by tributaries. Officials say they expect the sludge to enter Europe's second-largest river by the weekend or early next week.