Updated: Workers Hospitalized After Accident at Battery Manufacturing Plant in Hungary, Hydrogen Cyanide Released Into Air

  • 3 Apr 2024 8:42 AM
  • Hungary Matters
Updated: Workers Hospitalized After Accident at Battery Manufacturing Plant in Hungary, Hydrogen Cyanide Released Into Air
The opposition LMP-Greens is filing a report with the police over an accident at a battery manufacturing plant in Komárom, in northern Hungary.

Several workers were taken to the hospital on Sunday after hydrogen cyanide had been released into the air at the plant of SK Batteries,

LMP said in a statement, citing local news reports. The disaster management authority’s mobile lab has not shown harmful amounts of dangerous substances in the air, the statement said.

Noting previous incidents, LMP slammed the government aim to establish further plants working with dangerous materials in Hungary, insisting that accidents in battery manufacturing and dismantling plants were becoming more frequent.

The party will ask questions of the government in parliament and file a police report against perpetrators unknown, in an effort to uncover those responsible, the statement added.

It will also re-submit proposals to parliament to obligate battery plants to make their monitoring data public, “which [ruling] Fidesz has swept from the table so far”, the statement said. LMP wished a speedy recovery to those wounded on Sunday.

LMP Demands Monitoring Stations at Chemical Plants

Opposition LMP will submit a motion to parliament on setting up monitoring stations at plants that produce hazardous chemicals, the party’s deputy group leader said in front of a battery plant in Komárom, in northern Hungary, where an accident occurred over the weekend.

Eight workers of the plant were taken to hospital after hydrogen cyanide was released into the air, party MP Antal Csárdi told journalists. In a similar accident in January, 12 workers needed treatment, he said.

“It’s clear that the criteria for the operation of plants producing hazardous chemicals in Hungary are not in place. LMP, as Hungary’s Green Party, will submit written questions to the government, asking how it plans to guarantee the protection of the environment” and locals, said Csárdi.

LMP also wants the government to tighten inspections and set fines in proportion to those plants’ revenues.

Meanwhile, SK On Hungary Kft, the Komárom plant’s operator, said that no dangerous substances had been detected in the air around the plant on March 31.

It cited findings of mobile lab inspections by the local disaster management authority and police showing no harmful amounts of hazardous chemicals in the air.

Eight workers complaining of headache underwent a medical examination and were all released afterwards, the company said in a statement, adding that it had ordered an internal inspection of the accident and would take further measures to prevent any future accidents.

Nagy Meets Hungarian Battery ASSN Head

Márton Nagy, the national economy minister, met in his office on Tuesday the head of the Hungarian Battery Association, according to a ministry statement that also noted how high-tech battery production for electric vehicles was a key driver of Hungary’s export- and investment-oriented economy.

Hungary’s exports of batteries and battery components exceed 5% of GDP, putting the country among the top EU countries on this score, and battery production is expected to bring about 6,300 billion forints-worth of developments, making the country the world’s 4th largest battery producer after China, the US and Germany.

Domestic production capacity is likely to reach 250 gigawatt hours, which could serve 35 percent of European needs, the statement said.

At the meeting, Nagy agreed with Péter Kaderják that an EU electric vehicle purchase incentive scheme would be needed to boost the EU’s competitiveness and Europe’s electric car industry, it added.

MTI Photo: Tibor  Rosta

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