German experts work to free ship grounded after storm

FAN Editor

German rescue experts were working to free a cargo ship that ran aground on a North Sea sandbank during a weekend storm, while the country’s railway pressed Monday to reopen several train lines.

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High winds lashed Central Europe on Sunday as Storm Herwart passed through, knocking down trees, causing travel chaos and killing at least five people.

German rescuers were unable to prevent a 225-meter (738-foot) bulk carrier, the Glory Amsterdam, from drifting onto a sandbank off the North Sea island of Langeoog.

They had hoped to tow it free at high tide Monday evening, but the country’s central command for maritime emergencies said the water around the ship was too shallow for big tug boats and the rescue plan “is being adapted.” It didn’t elaborate.

The ship is undamaged and its 22-member crew is unhurt, but it has 1,900 tons of fuel oil and 140 tons of diesel on board.

German railway operator Deutsche Bahn, meanwhile was working to reopen blocked routes, particularly around Hamburg, where the Elbe River flooded some areas.

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In the Czech Republic, about 120,000 households were still without electricity Monday and about 10 railway lines were still blocked by fallen trees and debris.

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