Chinese, German ships crash in North Sea

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A Chinese cargo ship carrying fertiliser and fuel sustained major damage and required a tow to port after colliding with a German vessel in the North Sea, the Danish Navy said on Monday.

The Hong Kong-flagged Cleantec collided with the Frisia Rotterdam off northwest Denmark and sustained a seven-metre (23 feet) gash in its port side, navy spokesman Kenneth Nielsen told AFP.

The Cleantec's 24 crew were evacuated and the vessel was towed to the Danish port of Skagen, the spokesman said.

The Cleantec is carrying 30,000 tonnes of fertiliser and 1,000 tonnes of heavy fuel, and Nielsen ruled out a leak.

"Oue primary concern are the 1,000 tonnes of heavy fuel," said Nielsen.

The German vessel sustained slight damage to the stern and continued at reduced speed towards Bremerhaven in Germany.

© 2010 AFP

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