Netherlands warns of toxic chemicals after containers tossed from cargo ship

Dutch volunteers have been helping to collect the washed-up content from containers onboard the MSC ZoeMore

Dutch volunteers have been helping to collect the washed-up content from containers onboard the MSC ZoeMore

A 25-kg (55-pound) bag of organic peroxide, a strong bleaching agent that can cause injury on contact with skin, was swept ashore on Thursday, among dozens of containers from the ship to have appeared on or near the Dutch islands of Terschelling, Vlieland, Ameland and Schiermonnikoog.

It is unclear how many containers sank to the bottom of the sea and how many are still floating.

A bag containing risky powder washed up on a small Dutch island on Thursday, a day after some 270 containers tumbled from one of the world's biggest cargo ships in rough weather, as authorities scramble to clean debris-strewn beaches.

The clean up took place after a bag containing unsafe powder washed up on a small Dutch island on Thursday, a day after MSC Zoe lost the 270 containers in rough weather, officials said.

He told AFP the bag had come from one of three containers transporting organic peroxide that had been on board the MSC Zoe. "How are we going to clean this up?" an environmentalist on Schiermonnikoog, Cynthia Borras, said.

Dutch broadcaster NOS on Wednesday broadcast footage of locals gathered around one of the containers, with toys and other materials strewn across the beach and one man carrying off a flat screen television. "We ask them to remain out of the area of this air space to prevent unsafe situations".

German authorities said that most of the containers located so far were in Dutch waters.

Volunteers collect the washed up content from containers onboard of the Panamian-flagged MSC Zoe vessel in Moddergat, on January 3, 2019.

MSC is also deploying specialised ships equipped with sonar to search for missing cargo at sea.

"MSC takes this incident very seriously, both in terms of the impact of such accidents on the natural environment and in terms of any damage to customers" cargo, ' the company said.

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