One of the embankments containing cyanide contaminated water in a three-stage dam in a silver mining and refining facility owned by the Eti Silver Corporation collapsed in the western province of Kütahya on Saturday.
Workers have begun discharging the cyanide contaminated water in the facility located some 34 kilometers away from downtown Kütahya, near the village of Gümüş, reported Anatolian news agency.
The company’s work teams are trying to prevent the cyanide from flowing into the first stage of the dam where it could leak outside, while work is also underway to strengthen the embankments.
Some 250 people from Aliköy, Dulkadir, Gümüş, Kızılcakaya and Köprüören villages have gathered in front of the facility to protest the risk of cyanide contamination in the river basin.
The gendarmerie had difficulty in calming the protest, as the protestors attempted to break into the facility by knocking down the main gate.
Some citizens said the area was under great peril, urging the authorities to take the necessary precautions to prevent a repetition of the so-called ‘red mud’ catastrophe that occurred in Hungary last year.
According to reports, teams sent from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry arrived in the facility late at night and are working to prepare a report on the incident.