18 freight containers fall off barge at Antwerp Docks

Around 18 freight containers have fallen off a barge and into the water in a dock at the Port of Antwerp. The incident happened at the North Sea Terminal, near to the Zanvliet Lock on Saturday afternoon. It is still unclear what caused the incident or what it is in the containers. However, there is no indication that they contain hazardous goods. 

The emergency services are at the scene and are trying to locate the containers. Tugs will prioritise the removal of containers that have landed in the shipping lane. Speaking on Saturday afternoon, Annelies Nauwelaerts of the Antwerp Port Company told the press agency Belga that “As a precautionary measure a sailing ban has been enforced on the River Schelde”.  

"We presume that this will remain in force for around one and a half hours. Disruption to shipping will be limited as it is a very quiet day”, Ms Nauwelaerts added.