Body found on capsized German tanker

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German authorities said Sunday they had found a body on a tanker carrying nearly 2,400 tonnes of sulphuric acid that capsized on the Rhine river last month.

Authorities were for the first time able to gain access to the living quarters of the ship, the Waldhof, the Waterways and Shipping Office (WSV) said in a statement.

"In the completely destroyed rooms, the recovery team found and salvaged a body," the WSV said, adding: "We currently have no information as to the identity of the dead person."

Two of the four-member crew were rescued following the January 13 accident. The other two -- a German and a Czech national -- could not be found.

It is not immediately clear what caused the incident, which occurred near a celebrated rock outcropping known as "Lorelei" above a narrow point in the river where the current is very strong and accidents are not uncommon.

Officials pumped around 550 tonnes of the acid onto another ship, with the rest leaking into the Rhine. Authorities have said there is no environmental impact, as the acid was heavily diluted.

Traffic on the river, a major European shipping artery in western Germany, has been severely affected by the accident.

© 2011 AFP

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