Skip to main content

VIDEO: Cargo ship breaks in two

A cargo ship that ran aground off New Zealand three months ago has broken in two, spilling containers into the sea and raising concern about more of its fuel leaking, according to the BBC and other news reports.

The stern section of the Greek-owned Rena, a 774-footer, separated Jan. 7 in heavy seas. The incident is being called New Zealand's worst maritime environmental disaster.

Click play for an Associated Press report on the breakup.

Click play for a slideshow of the disaster.

The ship leaked 400 tons of fuel oil after it ran aground in October, killing thousands of seabirds. A new leak is feared in the coming days, but cleanup teams expect it to be smaller than the initial one.

As many as 300 containers have been washed overboard. Thirty containers have been identified ashore, and more than 10 vessels were recovering containers and debris today, the New Zealand Herald reports.

The Rena struck the well-marked Astrolabe Reef Oct. 5 off the North Island resort area of Tauranga. Her captain and other senior officers face as many as 16 charges related to the wreck.