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Several missing after two cargo ships collide off the coast of Germany

Sea rescue cruiser ship Bernhard Gruben of the DGzRS station in Hooksiel, Germany, that is used among others after a collision between two cargo ships in the North Sea.
Sea rescue cruiser ship Bernhard Gruben of the DGzRS station in Hooksiel, Germany, that is used among others after a collision between two cargo ships in the North Sea. Copyright HELMUT HOFER/AFP
Copyright HELMUT HOFER/AFP
By Euronews, AFP
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One of the two cargo ships which collided off the coast of Germany in the North Sea is believed to have sunk.

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A major rescue operation is underway off the German coast to find several people missing after a collision between two cargo ships in the North Sea.

The incident was reported by the maritime rescue services in the city of Cuxhaven, on the shore of the North Sea, early on Tuesday, and is estimated to have happened around 5 a.m.

One of the two cargo ships - the smaller one, called "Verity" - is presumed to have sunk, authorities said, adding that several rescue ships were currently searching for the shipwrecked people.

"One person was able to be taken out of the water and is receiving medical treatment. Several people are missing", said Cuxhaven authorities. Six people are still missing.

The Verity is a British-flagged ship coming from Bremen, in Germany, and heading toward Immingham, in the UK. It was 91 metres long and 14 metres wide.

The second cargo ship, the bigger one, is the "Polesie", which was flying the flag of the Bahamas. The ship, which is 190 metres long and 20 metres wide and had 22 people on board, had left the German port of Hamburg and was heading to La Coruña, in Spain.

The cause of the collusion between the two ships is still unknown. It's also unclear what goods the two were carrying at the moment of the incident.

Euronews will update this story as more details come through.

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