Firm pledges to find shipping containers lost in North Sea

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People help clean up the contents from cargo containers on a beach in Vlieland, Netherlands, Wednesday Jan. 2, 2019, after 270 shipping containers were lost at sea by a cargo ship caught in a storm. Authorities in Germany and the Netherlands were searching for up to 270 shipping containers lost at sea by a cargo ship caught in a storm, saying that a few of them are carrying hazardous material. (Gemeente Vlieland via AP)

Switzerland-based shipping company MSC is pledging to pay the cost of cleaning up hundreds of containers one of its cargo vessels lost in a North Sea storm.

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The company said Saturday that it was committed to finding and retrieving the containers that went overboard on Jan. 2 "until the last one is found." Authorities say two contained potentially hazardous materials.

The MSC Zoe, one of the largest freight ships in the world, lost more than 270 containers as it sailed from Portugal to Germany.

Dozens have since been spotted near islands off the coasts of Germany and the Netherlands or washed ashore while spilling light bulbs, plastic toys, flat-screen TVs and shoes onto beaches.

MSC says it appointed a specialist firm to help coordinate the search with authorities.