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Chinese cargo ship sinks off Danish coast
( 2003-06-02 09:00) (1)

A Chinese cargo ship sank off the Danish coast Sunday morning local time after colliding with a Cyprus-flagged vessel. All 27 members of the crew were rescued before the stricken ship sank.

The accident drew an angry reaction from the owners of the Chinese cargo ship Sunday.

COSCO Bulk Carrier Company Ltd, the owner of the Chinese cargo ship, said the Cyprus vessel was to blame for the collision according to international navigation rules.

"The foreign ship broke the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea and ran into our ship," said an employee with the shipping department of the company, who identified himself only as Zhang.

He said an investigation group comprising senior company officials would fly to Denmark to deal with the accident.

The 69,000-ton cargo ship was laden with 66,000 tons of fertilizer when the accident occurred.

"All the machinery that manages the oil on the ship were sealed off properly by our crew members before they abandoned the vessel," Zhang told China Daily. "The accident didn't cause any pollution," he added.

The ships collided at noon on Saturday in waters near Bornholm Island to the east of Denmark. The Chinese freighter started taking on water immediately after the accident while the other ship docked safely with heavy damage.

The Danish marine salvage authority immediately sent rescue teams to the scene and the 27 crew members were rescued. All are in a stable condition.

But efforts to tow the vessel to safety failed as the ship sank in about 68 metres of water.

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