24 January 2011 11:51 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Specialists from BASF will examine the cargo of sulphuric acid that was being transported by the boat that capsized on the river ?xml:namespace>
The specialists need to test if water has been in contact with the ship's cargo of sulphuric acid and if there is a risk that highly explosive hydrogen has developed in the vessel, said Uwe Rindsfuesser, a spokesman for the Landkreis Rhein-Lahn, a local administrative authority.
Work to stabilise the ship, the Waldhof, was currently taking place before specialists can begin conducting tests on 26 January or 27 January.
The ship was carrying some 2,400 tonnes of sulphuric acid from BASF’s petrochemicals hub in
The capsizing led authorities to close a 70km stretch of the
Florian Krekel, a spokesman for shipping authority Wasser- und Schifffahrtsamt Bingen, said two cranes began salvage work on 22 January on the capsized tanker.
A third crane was currently in the harbour and being prepared to help secure the Waldhof with cables, he said.
Once the sulphuric acid was checked and deemed safe, the ship's contents would be transferred to a tanker currently on site.
Officials will have a better idea later this week about how long the removal of the vessel would take, Krekel said.
Ships travelling upstream have been allowed to pass the salvage site since 21 January.
“On Friday, 20 ships passed the bend of the capsized ship. On Saturday, 93 passed. And yesterday (Sunday), 111 went through. The congestion of boats travelling upstream has now disappeared,” Krekel said.
However, downstream shipping remained closed and vessels were facing congestion on the waterway near the city of
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