Debris from ship that spilled containers packed off beaches

VANCOUVER ISLAND — Some 71 refrigerators, 81 bags of Styrofoam, 19 bags of garbage and 11 helicopter bags of garbage from containers that fell off of the M/V Zim Kingston have been flown off of Cape Palmerston beach and into metal bins in a nearby parking lot, according to the Canadian Coast Guard.

That meant that all the large debris that had shown up on the Palmerston-area beaches had been removed by Sunday, officials said.

At least 109 containers — rather than the original 40 reported — fell from the MV Zim Kingston on Oct. 22 as the ship, which was carrying nearly 2,000 containers from South Korea, was bucked by heavy seas just west of the entrance to Strait of Juan de Fuca.

About 10 of those that remained aboard burned the next day after the Kingston had anchored at Constance Bank, almost 5 miles from Victoria’s shore and about 17 miles from the U.S.

On Oct. 29 and over the weekend, contractors hired by the owner of the M/V Zim Kingston began to organize and remove debris from the containers on the beach at Cape Palmerston.

Crews would soon begin removing debris from Guise Bay at Cape Scott, as weather permitted, the Canadian Coast Guard said on Monday.

To date, only four shipping containers have been found on the beach, officials said.

One of these containers is breached and one is damaged.

Plans are underway for the removal of all four containers via helicopter when a weather window permits.

Searchers are looking for additional floating or beached containers.

A water sampling operation, to detect any contaminants in the water column as a result of the fires, has occurred and results are expected this week.

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