Dutch, Germans recover cargo lost by container ship

Search is on for containers lost off Dutch coast by ship

A bag containing unsafe powder washed up on a small Dutch island on Thursday, a day after some 270 containers tumbled from one of the world's biggest cargo ships in rough weather, as authorities scramble to clean debris-strewn beaches.

Despite warnings, locals on the Wadden islands have been seen recovering toys and goods - including flat-screen TVs - from broken containers which have turned up on their beaches.

Authorities in Germany and the Netherlands were searching Thursday for up to 270 shipping containers lost at sea by a cargo ship caught in a storm, saying that a few of them are carrying hazardous material. German authorities say two of them contained unsafe substances: organic peroxide in one case and lithium-ion batteries in the other.

Officials were anxious about three containers carrying toxic substances, including one with bags of peroxide powder, one of which washed ashore on the island of Schiermonnikoog.

So far, around 20 containers have been located near the shores of these islands while another six were found in German waters.

Dutch soldiers cleaned the mess and emergency services warned volunteers to not touch the containers.

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Dutch broadcaster NOS on Wednesday broadcast footage of locals gathered around one of the containers, with toys and other materials strewn across the beach and one man carrying off a flat screen television.

In the meantime, MSC is analysing the causes of the incident.

The company is using specialized ships with sonar equipment to search for the containers missing at sea.

Zoe, now berthed in Bremerhaven, was sailing from Sines, Portugal, to the German port when the containers fell off on Tuesday night.

The MSC Zoe is one of the largest cargo ships to be used in Europe, holding up to 19,000 containers. It was built in 2015.

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