Second cargo container also leaking poison
26 January 2004
AMSTERDAM — A second cargo container salvaged from the North Sea near the Dutch island off Texel on Monday was also leaking an agricultural poison. It is expected that the third and final container will be retrieved on Tuesday.
Dutch salvage company Multraship Salvage successfully retrieved the first container on 22 January, but it was leaking arsenic pentoxide, a chemical used as a pesticide and wood preservative.
The Ethiopian ship Andinet was en route from Antwerp to Germany when it lost the three containers during a severe storm on 21 December. Previous attempts to salvage the containers — each of which hold 210 drums of poison — were postponed due to bad weather.
The Department of Public Works and Water Management is testing North Sea water samples to determine if the leaked poison has caused serious environmental damage. The results of the tests are expected to be known later this week, news agency ANP reported.
Weather conditions are expected to remain favourable for the coming 24 hours and it is expected that the third and final container will be salvaged on Tuesday. It has been located about 900m away from the second container.
Besides the three containers, a total of 63 loose drums were also lost overboard, but the Dutch navy has not yet located them. About 5,000lr of arsenic pentoxide was also lost at sea during the pre-Christmas storm.
Environment lobby group North Sea Foundation has continually raised concerns about the lost cargo and possible environmental damage. It has urged for the quick recovery of the containers.
But the Agriculture and Fisheries Ministry did not place a fishing ban on the region where the containers were lost. It issued a negative fishing warning instead, but it has since been revealed that some fishers have operated in the affected region.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news