News World Dutch authorities demand clean-up costs from Swiss shipping line

Dutch authorities demand clean-up costs from Swiss shipping line

Authorities from a chain of Dutch islands have told Swiss shipping line MSC they will hold it responsible for cleaning costs related to debris from 270 lost cargo containers that washed up on their shores, an official said on Friday.

The containers, including hazardous chemicals, fell off one of the world’s largest container ships, the MSC Zoe, during a North Sea storm on Wednesday.

A statement from MSC on Friday said that the company was “directly taking over more of the clean-up” and was working with several salvage companies.

An MSC spokesman had no immediate comment on the letter sent by Dutch officials, but the statement said it had deployed boats to locate and tow drifting containers, plus sonar-tracing vessels for underwater recovery.

“MSC is not giving a detailed account of the cargo on board to the general public at this time,” it said, adding that “caution should be applied in particular for any containers or drums which are labelled as having hazardous content”.

Tineke Schokker, the mayor of Vlieland, one of the Wadden Islands, said she had sent a “sharply worded” letter to the company. Debris continued to wash up on Friday, she said, posing a threat to flora and fauna.

“They need to remove this as quickly as possible because the longer it’s here the more damage it does,” she said in an interview. “We have decided to collectively pass on the costs to the shipping company.”

It was not clear if there would be lasting environmental damage to the area, a vast expanse of tidal flats and wetlands known for its rich biological diversity.

Roughly 100 soldiers were assisting the clean-up operation, in which local authorities and volunteers have already gathered hundreds of thousands of tonnes of waste.

It was also unclear how many of the containers had sunk and how many were still floating and could pose a hazard to marine traffic or fishing boats.

Among the lost cargo were 25 kg (55lb) bags of peroxide, a strong bleaching agent that can cause injury on contact with skin, some of which had washed ashore.

At least three of the containers were thought to contain hazardous chemicals, the Dutch coastguard has said.

German authorities are leading the investigation into what caused the accident in German waters near the island of Borkum.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Commission pays 610,000 to Cyprus for medical supplies from China

The Ministry of Transport announced that the proposal Cyprus submitted to the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations to cover the...

India exhibits military might at Republic Day parade

India celebrated its 72nd Republic Day with a parade exhibiting its military might on Tuesday (January 26) in New Delhi. Tanks, ornately dressed horse cavalries,...

Ecologist Movement denounces illegal work at Fig Tree Bay

Illegal work against the environment in the Fig Tree Bay coast of Protaras, was denounced by the Ecologist Movement. As the party noted in...

Robot Franziska cleans the floor at Neuperlach hospital in Munich

Robot Franziska cries because someone stands in its way while cleaning the floor as a replacement for the missing cleaning personnel due to the...

Vaccination Portal for over 88 to open tomorrow

As of tomorrow, 27 January, at 09:00 appointments will be available at the Vaccination Portal for people aged 88 and over. The final number...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...