Berlin: A ship carrying 2,400 tonnes of
sulphuric acid overturned on Thursday in the Rhine river near Sankt Goar, northwest of Mainz, and two members of its crew are missing, river police told reporters.
"Two members of the crew were rescued but two others
are missing," police spokesman Paul-Heinz Meurisch said.
Melting snow and rains have swollen rivers in the
western German region but it was not immediately known if that
was a factor in the accident on Germany`s longest river, which
was reported around 5:00 am (0400 GMT).
Helicopters equipped with infrared equipment took to
the air to search for the missing crew, and traffic on the
river, a major European transport artery, was suspended.
The ship measures roughly 100 metres (yards) long and
was completely turned over, with its keel above the waterline,
but it was not immediately known if any acid had leaked into
the river, Meurisch said.
The accident occurred near a celebrated rock
outcropping known as "Lorelei," a nymph from German mythology
that was said to attract mariners with enchanting songs.
The site sits above a particularly narrow point in the
river where the current is very strong and many accidents have
taken place in the past.