Toxic cargo ship near Dutch coast might break in half

A Qatari container ship with a toxic cargo is foundering in shallow waters off the southwest Dutch coast and is in danger of breaking in half if it is moved, the Dutch coast guard said Tuesday.

Spokesman Kees Koning said the coast guard was assisting in a salvage operation. He did not have details of the cargo carried by the ship, the Fowairet, according to the AP.

"A small amount of oil has escaped from a hole in the ship's side, but that's all," Koning said.

Images from the scene showed coast guard craft circling the ship, which was easily visible from shore and stacked high with containers. A report on Dutch NOS news said the ship's Kuwaiti crew was still on board, and the ship may be able to return to port at high tide.

The NOS report said traffic in the Westerschelde, a major shipping lane, had been halted. The ship was on its way from London to Antwerp.

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