2 freighters collide in the Baltic, rescue in progress

(1st UPDATE) It is currently unclear whether the ships were carrying dangerous goods

STOCKHOLM, Sweden – Two cargo ships collided in the Baltic Sea on Monday (December 13th) between the Danish island of Bornholm and the town of Ystad in southern Sweden, and a rescue operation has been launched for at least two people, Danish and Swedish authorities said.

The vessel Karin Hoej, registered in Denmark, capsized and was upside down, the Swedish maritime administration said. There were two people on board and they were missing, the Danish Defense Joint Operations Center (JOC) said.

The other vessel, the UK registered Scot Carrier, was functional and her crew safe.

“I can confirm that an accident has occurred but I do not know the circumstances,” said Soren Hoj, general manager of the Rederiet Hoj shipping company, owner of the Karin Hoej.

The ship, which was unloaded, was sailing from Sodertalje in Sweden to Nykobing Falster in southern Denmark with two people on board, he said.

“A major rescue operation is underway,” Hoj said.

A spokesperson for the Danish Meteorological Institute said there was fog in the area at the time of the crash, around 3.30am.

The accident happened in Swedish territorial waters and the two ships were sailing in the same direction when they made contact, the Danish JOC said.

Denmark was helping the Swedish authorities with the rescue. A rescue boat was launched from Bornholm Island and a helicopter was also dispatched to the Danish side.

Nearby civilian ships were also assisting the search and rescue mission.

Swedish news agency TT quoted a Swedish coastguard spokesperson as saying that one of the ships was 90 meters long and the other 55 meters.

The Danish JOC was not able to immediately say whether the ships were carrying dangerous goods. – Rappler.com

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