Italian freighter sunk in fire off France carried 'dangerous materials'

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An Italian-owned cargo ship carrying thousands of vehicles from Germany to Morocco when it caught fire and sank about 260 kilometres off France's Atlantic Coast on Tuesday, was also transporting 45 containers of "dangerous materials", French regional maritime authorities have confirmed.

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French authorities said Wednesday that an Italian cargo ship which sank in the Atlantic was carrying 45 containers of "dangerous materials", reports Phys.Org.

"For now the possible pollution risk consists mainly of the 2,200 tons of heavy fuel oil onboard," Jean-Louis Lozier, head of the regional maritime authority, told reporters in Brest on France's Brittany coast.

The "Grande America" was en route from Hamburg, Germany, to Casablanca in Morocco when a fire broke out late Sunday.

All 27 people onboard were evacuated on Monday night as the fire worsened, causing the ship to sink about 260 kilometres (160 miles) southwest of Penmarc'h on France's Atlantic coast.

Lozier said the ship's Italian owner Grimaldi had indicated that 365 shipping containers were onboard, "of which 45 are carrying dangerous materials," as well as around 2,000 vehicles.

Read more of this report from Phys.Org.

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