Sinking of the “Great America”: 45 containers of hazardous materials and 2,200 tons of heavy fuel oil

The Italian ship “Grande America”, which sank Tuesday afternoon 333 km west of La Rochelle, was carrying “365 containers, 45 listed as containing hazardous materials” and 2,200 tons of heavy fuel oil in its bunkers, announced Wednesday the Maritime Prefect of the Atlantic.

“At present the potential risk of pollution is mainly constituted by the 2,200 tons of heavy fuel oil that are inside the building,” explained at a press conference in Brest the maritime prefect Jean-Louis Lozier.

“With westerly winds varying from west-southwest to west-northwest, the impacted area (by heavy fuel oil, ed) would be the facade between the Charente-Maritime and the Gironde in several days”, he estimated, assuring however that for the moment no pollution had been detected.

“The Great America was carrying decked containers and vehicles in its garage bridges,” said Vice Admiral Lozier.

“The shipowner's data lists 365 containers, 45 of which are listed as containing dangerous goods and a little over 2,000.Other than this cargo, the ship's bunkers contain about 2,200 tonnes of heavy fuel oil, which was used as fuel. navigation to the ship, “he said.

The prefect also said that the shipowner, the company Grimaldi, had been put on notice to “end the danger for navigation and the marine environment represented by containers and other elements adrift” and “treat any maritime pollution “.

The “Grande America”, a 214-meter hybrid ship between a ro-ro and a container ship, was coming from Hamburg (Germany) and was due to go to Casablanca (Morocco) when a fire broke out. on board Sunday night.

The building was about 263 kilometers southwest of Penmarc'h Point in Brittany. The 27 passengers were evacuated in the night from Sunday to Monday but the fire could not be controlled and the ship sank Tuesday at 15:26 to 333 km from La Rochelle.

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