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            august 26, 2019

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MSC launches major clean-up after 300 boxes fell off MSC Zoe


Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has started clean-up efforts ten days after 291 containers - some holding hazardous chemicals - fell off one of its largest cargo ships into German waters near the island of Borkum during a North Sea storm straight after the start of the New Year, according to Shipping Gazette.
"The clean-up will likely take months," Dutch water authorities spokesman Edwin de Feijter was quoted as saying in a Reuters report. "The largest part of the debris has been located but there are still parts missing."
Two salvage ships left the harbour at IJmuiden, near Amsterdam, on Friday night, heading towards a container north of the tiny Rottumerplaat island, which is barring access to an important shipping route between Germany and the Netherlands.
Work was planned to start at midday on Saturday but rough weather looked set to delay the operation, Mr De Feijter said, adding that 238 objects had been identified in the water so far.
"Those objects are not all entire containers, they can also be part of the cargo lost from broken ones."
Seventeen containers washed up on shore on the Dutch islands of Terschelling, Vlieland, Ameland and Schiermonnikoog, with the debris of many others littering the islands' beaches.
MSC said it had made significant progress on the Dutch islands, with a total of 1,220 tonnes of debris collected so far.
Dutch authorities earlier said they would hold MSC liable for the cost of cleaning up the waters. Some 100 soldiers joined the clean-up operation last week, while local authorities and volunteers had already gathered up tonnes of waste from several kilometres of coastline.

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