Italy container ship sinks off Egypt, crew safe

AFP, Tuesday 14 Dec 2010

Italian container ship sinks off Egypt's coast but crew is safe

An Italian container ship has sunk off Egypt's coast but its crew was rescued during an operation to pull it to safety after it broke down in rough weather, Egypt's news agency MENA reported on Tuesday.

The Jolly Amaranto, with a crew of 16 Italians and five Romanians on board and a cargo of toxic paint, was hit by engine failure last week during heavy storms off the coast of Marsa Matruh in northwest Egypt.

During an operation by rescue services of Alexandria port with a tug boat, the containers started to slide into the water, tipping the Italian ship and causing it to flood, MENA said.

Strong rains and sandstorms which battered Egypt at the weekend killed more than 30 people.

At least 14 of them were killed and 10 others injured when a six-storey textile factory crumpled on Sunday in the northern port city of Alexandria, MENA said, revising an earlier casualty toll and warning it could still rise.

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