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Cargo ship sinks in Italy storm

There are fears an oil spill could cause environmental damage

Bad weather has battered much of Italy, sinking a cargo ship in northern Liguria after strong winds drove it into a breakwater.

The boat's 13 crew are safe, but authorities fear more than 14,000 litres (3,000 gallons) of oil could leak from the ship's tanks.

Also in the north, hundreds of cars and lorries were snowed in, while Milan's tram system was knocked out.

Meanwhile, heavy rains and a high tide caused widespread flooding in Venice.


In La Spezia, the Georgia-registered bulk cement carrier Margaret dragged its anchor in high winds, hit a pier and sank in shallow water just off the commercial port.

Several anti-pollution vessels were quickly on the scene and others were to arrive on Sunday, the AFP news agency reported.
"The situation is for the moment under control, our vigilance is at maximum level and anti-pollution measures were rapidly activated," Environment Minister Altero Matteoli said.

One of the crew members saved by a heli.

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