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Refrigerators, styrofoam, garbage on B.C. beaches after containers spilled from ship

Items collected by helicopter off Cape Palmerston beach on the northwest side of Vancouver Island
Ships continue to work to control a fire onboard the MV Zim Kingston about eight kilometres from the shore in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, October 25, 2021. A special weather statement was issued for the Greater Victoria area as southeasterly winds gusting up to 90km per hour were forecasted. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Dozens of refrigerators and bags of Styrofoam and garbage have been picked up from a remote Vancouver Island beach as the cleanup has started from 109 shipping containers that fell overboard from a ship off Victoria.

The Canadian Coast Guard says in a statement that 71 refrigerators, 81 bags of Styrofoam and 19 bags of garbage are among the items that have been flown by helicopter off Cape Palmerston beach on the northwest side of Vancouver Island.

The MV Zim Kingston lost the containers on Oct. 22, right around the same time a fire started on the ship, which had been anchored off Victoria to do repairs.

The fire inside containers carrying vehicle tires burned for about a week before it was extinguished.

The coast guard said Monday the cleanup will continue along northern Vancouver Island as weather allows and an environmental unit is working with First Nations to identify resources at risk along the coast.

It says efforts to stabilize the remaining containers on the ship will continue this week, while an inspection of the Zim Kingston has been completed and is being reviewed by Transport Canada.

—The Canadian Press

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