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Lost at sea Shipping company to pay for container clear-up

Soldiers clear up debris from a beach

Dutch Soldiers clear up debris washed up on a beach on Schiermonnikoog island in the Wadden archipelago.



The Geneva-headquartered Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has promised to reimburse the costs of clearing up around 270 containers that were torn from a ship during a storm in the North Sea earlier this week.

Some containers, packed with car parts, TV screens, light bulbs, furniture, toys and other contents, have already washed up on the Wadden Island archipelago – which stretches through Dutch and German territory. The Dutch authorities have dispatched soldiers to help clear them.

MSC said it would handle further clean-up operations, in collaboration with local authorities and its insurers. It has contracted marine salvage specialists with vessels equipped with sonar to detect containers believed to have sunk to the bottom of the sea.

“MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company would like to reassure authorities and members of the public in the Netherlands and Germany that the company will pay the full costs of the clean-up," the company said in a statementexternal link. It added that it is committed to finding all of the lost containers.

The MSC vessel Zoe, one of the world's largest container ships and flying the flag of Panama, lost the containers on Tuesday night. MSC has one of the biggest container vessel fleets in the world.

The Dutch authorities have opened a judicial investigation into the incident.

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