Saturday 21 September 2019

Experts working to free cargo ship grounded during North Sea storm

The Glory Amsterdam ran aground off the shore of the German North Sea island of Langeoog (dpa/AP)
The Glory Amsterdam ran aground off the shore of the German North Sea island of Langeoog (dpa/AP)

German rescue experts are working to free a cargo ship that ran aground on a North Sea sandbank in a weekend storm.

Emergency teams were unable to prevent 738ft bulk carrier the Glory Amsterdam drifting on to a sandbank off the North Sea island of Langeoog.

They had hoped to tow it free at high tide on Monday evening, but the country's central command for maritime emergencies said the water around the ship is too shallow for big tug boats and the rescue plan "is being adapted".

The ship is undamaged and its 22 crew members are unhurt, but it has 1,900 tons of fuel oil and 140 tons of diesel on board.

The grounding came as high winds caused chaos across much of Central Europe on Sunday, leaving five people dead and several injured.

Storm Herwart, whose gusts reached 112mph, caused electricity blackouts in hundreds of thousands of homes in the Czech Republic, Austria and other countries.

A Lufthansa flight from Houston to Frankfurt made an emergency landing in Stuttgart early on Sunday because of the strong winds.

Two people died in Poland, including a man who drove his car into a tree that had been knocked down by the storm, fire department spokesman Pawel Fratczak said.

The second man was killed when a tree fell on his car in south-western Poland and his passenger was taken to hospital, Polish media reported.

Two were killed in the Czech Republic when they were hit by falling trees, local television reported.

A 63-year-old camper was swept away in a flash flood and drowned at Jadebusen on Germany's North Sea coast, dpa reported.


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