CONTAINERS that fell from a cargo ship off the coast of the Netherlands contain a highly toxic chemical, the public has been warned.
The Dutch coast guard told people to stay away from the cargo as it washes up, cautioning that three of the 270 lost containers carried barrels of an organic peroxide, a flammable compound. A bag of the substance has come ashore along with around 20 of the containers on the Wadden Islands, a North Sea archipelago.
Other containers which fell from the Panama-registered MSC Zoe during a storm off the coastal border between Germany and the Netherlands carried toys, light bulbs and flat screen TVs.
Special ships equipped with sonar were being used to search for sunken containers. The Dutch defence ministry said it was recalling soldiers from their Christmas leave to help clear up the beaches, which are littered with debris.