Jan 08 - Stricken container ship splits in two off a New Zealand holiday spot. Marie-Claire Fennessy reports.
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A stricken container ship has split in two in stormy weather off New Zealand.
The 47,230 tonne Liberian-flagged Rena has been stranded on a reef since running aground on October 5 last year.
Maritime authorities said both parts of the ship were about 100 feet away from each other after being pounded by wild weather overnight.
Hundreds of the containers stacked on the ship's deck tipped into the sea when it broke apart.
Reponse teams have been mobilised including oil spill and wildlife experts.
Thousands of birds were killed by the ships earlier spill and it took months to clean up the shore in what was New Zealand's worst environmental disaster in decades.
The ships captain and navigation officer, both Philippine nationals have been charged with operating a vessel in a dangerous manner and releasing toxic substances.
Marie-Claire Fennessy, Reuters
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