Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Sunk U-boat a time bomb for Norway


December 19, 2006

HORTEN, Norway -- Norway will entomb the wreck of a U-boat sunk in the North Sea during World War II in hopes of averting an environmental catastrophe,

Ane Eide Kjaeras, spokesman for the Norwegian Coastal Administration, said, 'The potential for pollution is unlike anything we have seen.'

The German vessel U864 was sent by Adolf Hitler to Japan with a cargo of mercury for weapons production and engine parts for aircraft in 1945. The British submarine HMS Venturer sunk the U-boat.

The wreck of U864 was found by the Norwegian navy in 2003. Authorities found toxic levels of mercury contamination. The wreck cannot be removed because the mercury canisters might disintegrate.

NCA says entombment is the only option, The Times of London reported. Aside from safety, entombment would be appropriate for the captain and his crew of 72, killed when the boat sank, the newspaper said.

The cost of the project could exceed $15 million.



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