Cargo ship spill washes up on Dutch shoreline

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At least three of the containers were thought to contain hazardous chemicals. Some 21 have so far washed up on the Dutch Wadden Sea islands, covering the beaches with debris.

Dutch media reported that local treasure hunters had found an array of items from containers whose contents had spilled, including light bulbs, vehicle parts, Ikea furniture, clothing and toys.

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

They also warned the public not to touch the containers if found, but to call police or the fire brigade.

Jan-Willem Zwart, spokesman for the security services of the Frisian Islands said: "We strongly advise residents and people who have come to clean the beaches to immediately seek medical attention if they come into contact with the bags (containing organic peroxide)".

The Dutch coastguard estimates that 270 containers were lost overboard.

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Friesland provincial authorities said the peroxide was safely removed from the beach. Others were floating or stranded off the coasts of Ameland and Schiermonnikoog, part of a chain of islands that guard the Dutch coast. "We ask them to remain out of the area of this air space to prevent unsafe situations".

German authorities said that recovering waterlogged containers is proving hard.

The company is using specialized ships with sonar equipment to search for the containers missing at sea.

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

In the meantime, MSC is analysing the causes of the incident. The freighter is now at port in Bremerhaven, Germany.

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