Sunday, March 11, 2007

How To Wreck 300 Cars (Photos)

ANTWERP, Belgium: A large container ship capsized during loading Thursday in Belgian port city Antwerp, officials said. No injuries were reported.

The cause of the capsizing of the Republica di Genova, a roll on/roll off vessel of the London-based Grimaldi Lines, was not immediately clear, authorities said. Grimaldi Group vessels carry containers and Fiat cars from Italy to Antwerp.

Port of Antwerp Captain Jan Persi said the 215-meter-long (705-foot-long) vessel slowly rolled onto its starboard side in a dead end dock early in the morning. He said the ship began taking on water and that the captain ordered the crew to evacuate. The white-and-yellow vessel lay resting on its side, part of its hull above the waterline in the dock.

Karel Verbeke, head of Grimaldi Belgium, told the VRT radio network that about 300 containers and cars were on board when the ship rolled over.

Shipping in and out of the Verrebroekdock was halted.

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