Germany: Chemicals-carrying tanker runs aground on Elbe River | News | DW | 21.01.2019
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Germany: Chemicals-carrying tanker runs aground on Elbe River

Authorities have refloated the cargo ship without harming the vessel. With dangerous chemicals on board, some were concerned that the incident could harm humans or the environment.

A Panama-flagged cargo ship carrying 9,000 metric tons (9,920 US tons) of hazardous materials ran aground on Germany's Elbe River on Monday.

Authorities said the hazardous materials included chemicals such as dissolvers and hydraulic fluids. Later, authorities confirmed that they were able to safely tow the vessel to safety without incident and allow it to be on its way.

Read more: Climate protection: Germany falls farther behind

What happened:

  • The ship ran aground about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) away from Cuxhaven
  • The ship did not sustain damage, authorities said
  • Crew members did not sustain injuries
  • Six tug boats were able to refloat the ship after several hours
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'Hopefully without harm'

A Finland-based researcher and environmental lawyer had tweeted that a rising tide in the afternoon could provide a way out for the cargo ship.

"High tide in the early afternoon might offer a possibility to get Orient Nadeshiko moving again," said Stefan Kirchner. "Hopefully without harm to humans or the environment. In order to ensure maritime safety, working Coast Guard facilities are essential."

Read more: 'There should be no nuclear in climate financing'

'No business on the world's oceans'

Last week, some 270 containers fell off Panama-flagged cargo ship MSC ZOE, considered one of the world's largest, due to rough weather in the North Sea.

Authorities had warned the public from approaching the containers as they washed up on the Dutch islands of Tershelling, Ameland and Vlieland. At least three of them contained hazardous materials. Some of the chemicals in those containers were also flammable.

Germany's Green Party has called for banning dangerous chemicals on the high seas, saying: "Dangerous chemicals have no business on the world's oceans."

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ls, es/rt (AP, AFP, dpa)

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