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France

Solvent-carrying tanker in trouble off France

1 min

A Maltese chemical tanker carrying 6,000 tonnes of solvents was threatening more environmental disaster to France's north-west coast on Friday after a collision with a freighter off the coast of Brittany.

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The 120-metre YM Uranus is "taking in large amounts of water" after an apparent collision, authorities said. The 13-member crew was airlifted to safety. The tanker was on its way from Porto Marghera in Italy and Amsterdam.

Initial reports suggest it collided with the Hanjin Richzad, a 191m-freighter.

France's Atlantic coast is no stranger to disaster. Typhoon Xynthia wreaked havoc earlier this year, and in 1999, the oil tanker Erika sank while carrying 20,000 tonnes of oil.

It took more than three months to clear the spill and over 50,000 birds were killed. Both disasters badly affected the local economy, which relies on fishing.

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