Ship sinks, boats break free as Danube thaws

AP News
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Posted: Feb 27, 2012 10:53 AM
Ship sinks, boats break free as Danube thaws

Authorities say a ship carrying 700 tons of corn has sunk and dozens of small boats are floating free in Romania's stretch of the Danube after an ice floe melted due to rising temperatures. No injuries have been reported.

Large segments of the 1,777 mile-long (2,860-kilometer-long) international waterway were recently blocked by thick ice as the region faced a deep freeze that claimed more than 600 lives.

A spokeswoman for the Giurgiu port, who was not authorized to speak to reporters on the record, identified the sunken vessel as a motorized Romanian ship and said it sank overnight in southeast Romania. She says the crew escaped.

Giurgiu port director Florin Oprea said Monday that some 50 small boats previously trapped in the ice are now free floating in the river.