Troops deployed as politicians warn of natural disaster from MSC Zoe box spill

Troops have been deployed by the Dutch Ministry of Defence to help in the cleanup operations in the wake of the giant MSC Zoe boxship spilling some 270 containers into the North Sea earlier this week, with local politicians warning of an environmental catastrophe on local beaches.

Some 35 boxes washed up on a pair of Dutch islands sparking scenes of locals rushing to claim trophies from inside the containers.

Around 100 soldiers have joined the cleanup with authorities warning that three as yet unretrieved containers contain toxic substances.

Asking for emergency help yesterday, Ineke van Gent, a local mayor, called the accident a “disaster for nature” as many boxes washed up in a national park.

MSC has deployed a salvage team to help clean up the area, while the MSC Zoe is now in Bremerhaven as investigations get underway into how the containers fell overboard.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


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