Hundreds of Ships Blocked in Rhine River by Sunken Tanker

January 31, 2011 Updated: January 31, 2011

[xtypo_dropcap]A[/xtypo_dropcap]round 400 ships remain unable to travel down the Rhine River in Germany following the sinking of a tanker two and a half weeks ago.

The tanker carrying sulfuric acid capsized in the German part of the Rhine River on Jan. 13.

Some of the owners of the blocked ships are facing bankruptcy, according to German news website The Local.

On Monday, rescue workers drilled holes in the 360-foot-long sunken tanker to pump out its chemical load. According to German media, passage on the Rhine will remain blocked for at least one more week.

The Rhine is one of Europe’s main waterways, playing a vital role in Europe’s transportation of goods.

It is the first time in decades the Rhine has been obstructed to this extent in Germany, according to local Radio station Radio Basel.

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