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Shipping

Cargo ship sinks off Rotterdam after collision, four dead

After a collision off the coast of the Netherlands, a cargo ship called the Baltic Ace has sunk. Four people have been pulled dead from the water, while others are still reported missing.

epa03497769 An undated handout file photo of the cargo ship Baltic Ace in IJmuiden, The Netherlands. Dutch sea rescue services launched a major rescue operation 05 December 2012 after two ships collided in a busy North Sea shipping lane off the coast of Rotterdam with one ship, the Baltic Ace, sinking, a Coast Guard spokesman said. EPA/HANS BLOMVLIET/SCHEEPVAARTNIEUWS.BLOGSPOT.COM HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES/NO ARCHIVES +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++

Containerschiff Baltic Sea sinkt in der Nordsee

The collision between the Baltic Ice freighter, pictured above in a file photo, and the Corvus J cargo container occurred about 65 kilometers (40 miles) off the coast of the southern Netherlands on Wednesday. There were 24 people on board the Baltic Ace, which sank after the collision.

After recovering 13 people with slight injuries and the bodies of four others who did not survive, the Dutch coast guard, along with the navy, was searching for seven additional passengers using infrared devices to search in the dark. The search is being conducted with rescue helicopters and patrol boats.

"Helicopters are trying, in (strong wind) and high waves to bring the people to safety," said a statement from the Dutch Defense Ministry.

The Baltic Ace, which was sailing under a Bahamas flag, was carrying a load of cars from Belgium to Finland. The Corvus J, which was damaged in the collision but did not sink, was heading to Antwerp from Grangemouth, Scotland.

The accident occurred in a busy shipping lane in the North Sea under strong winds and rain.

A coast guard spokesperson said the cause of the accident was so far unknown.

mz/mr (AP, Reuters, dpa)