KATWIJK - Thousands of bags containing the toxic Apron Plus have washed up on the beach of the North Sea. Not only at Noordwijk and Katwijk, but also at Zandvoort, IJmuiden, The beaches are closed on Texel and Ameland.

The bags come from two containers that are on 8 were thrown overboard from the Cypriot at the entrance of the Channel in December container ship Sherbo. The ship lost in a storm 88 containers.

Flushing of the bags does not come as a result a surprise. A spokesperson for Rijkswaterstaat says to NRC Handelsblad that the beaches have been monitored for weeks. The past weeks have also washed up in large numbers of poison bags in Belgium and France.

Apron Plus is an agricultural poison. The drug is used to combat fungi in agriculture. It is so poisonous as broken sachets are found on the beach, the top layer of sand must also be excavated turn into. Because the substance is so toxic, it was decided to close the beaches.

“You die if you put more than half a gram in it kilo of life weight inside ”, says chemist Veenhoven of the Amsterdam environmental service against het Parool.

In addition to the agricultural poison Apron Plus, sachets with it Ridomil into the water. Those bags are not yet found on the Dutch beaches. That substance is less dangerous, say experts.

There were also ignition mechanisms in the cargo that ended up in the water. If these go off, that could lead to a small explosion, similar to fireworks.

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Rijkswaterstaat has already started using it in several places collecting and removing the poison bags. The employees have some put on white oil packs, with protective goggles.

People are in for a huge job. “There are thousands of them those packages between here and Zandvoort ”, Gilles Quist tells NRC Handelsblad, who was put to work at IJmuiden by Rijkswaterstaat.

Some of the bags have broken. The poison is not flowing immediately into the water, but immediately attaches itself to the sand. It is recognizable because of the bright pink color.

The volunteers praise still happy, because it could have been a lot worse. The pouches are spread in a strip of two meters wide. Quist says in NRC Trade sheet that the bags are on the spot last night. "It would it took a lot more work to get them together if they were all over the place beach layers. ”

Hoe ging het verder?

Two days later Katwijk will also have another one ignition mechanism found. The copy has been transferred to it police headquarters in Katwijk, Leidsch Dagblad writes.

For days, Rijkswaterstaat teams are still busy with bags from the beach. That's a tedious job, because there every day wash new bags.

The beaches will remain closed for days. Then it becomes not recommended to take the dog to the beach.

In total, 130.000 bags collected in the Netherlands. In Germany is about it again 145.000 sachets. There are still some 35.000 looking for bags, researchers conclude. The clean-up action costs one and a half million euros. An attempt is being made to recover these costs from the shipping company.

The number of victims (animals) through the poison bags relatively small, given the number of bags that got into the water. There are fifteen dead guillemots from the beach in the first days. There are also over twenty sick seals were taken care of in Pieterburen.

Rijkswaterstaat calls the incident the "biggest poison wave ever'. It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of sachets still float in the water.

The collected poison is ultimately destroyed by Waste Processing Rijnmond. It is unclear whether penalties were given after the Sherbo disaster.


TVNZ – 20-01-1994 – Police drop off tens of kilometers of beach

Trouw – 20-01-1994 – Thousands of bags of dangerous poison pollute the beach

Het Parool – 20-01-1994 – Search poison on beach in full swing

The voice – 21-01-1994 – Poison bags ruin the North Sea coast

Leiden newspaper – 22-01-1994 – Ignition mechanism found on Katwijk beach

Trouw – 23-02-1994 – Thousands of bags of poison float to the North German coast

Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management – 1994 – Evaluation action plan Apron DS

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