Science, Tech & Environment

Containers with toxic cargo spill into ocean off New Zealand


A ship that's run aground off the coast of New Zealand is dumping oil and toxic cargo into the ocean. (Image from ABCAu video)

A ship off of New Zealand that has been leaking oil into the once-pristine Bay of Plenty is causing new problems.

Containers containing toxic cargo have fallen off of the severely listing ship and into the ocean. Combined with the oil that has already fouled the ocean — with more leaking every day and you have an environmental disaster.

"It's ruined," said one visibly distraught onlooker, standing on the beach.

The beaches in the area are fouled with oil as well as with remnants of the ship's cargo, some toxic and some not. Clean-up crews were able to return to the ship Wednesday — for the first time in days — but aren't quite sure when they'll be able to pump the remaining oil from the ship's tanks.

They've also stopped using an oil dispersant, meaning more oil is expected to wash on shore in the coming days.