Big clean-up on Dutch shores
DUTCH soldiers were helping with a huge clean-up operation yesterday after spilt containers from one of the world’s biggest cargo ships started to wash ashore.
More than 20 containers have washed up on Dutch shores, the coastguard said. About a dozen more have been sighted drifting off the coast.
In total, 277 containers toppled into the North Sea from the cargo ship MSC Zoe earlier this week, and most have not yet been located.
About 100 Dutch soldiers arrived early yesterday to help clear the beaches of debris on the island of Schiermonnikoog, where a second sack of peroxide powder – a powerful chemical which can be used as a bleaching agent – washed up during the night.
The soldiers are expected to be in the area for at least two days.
The beaches and coastline of the Frisian Islands have become littered with container contents. Up to three of the containers in Dutch waters are carrying dangerous chemicals.
The Dutch Environment Ministry said that the Swiss shipping company MSC should bear the costs of the clean-up and any damages. The operation is expected to take weeks.
TV sets were among the first items to land on the German coast yesterday.
“The first televisions washed up today,” said local Green politician Meta Janssen-kucz, adding that it was the containers transporting chemicals that were of most concern.
Police confirmed that about 30 TV sets and other household items had been found on the beach.
About 10 containers have been sighted in German waters. German marine authorities cited MSC as saying that one contained peroxide, while another contained lithium batteries.
With the scale of the clean-up becoming clearer, calls to equip transport containers with tracking devices are growing louder.