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Mercosul Line Ship Collision Sinks Tug on Amazon River

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Nine people have been reported missing, feared dead, after a tug pushing barges down the Amazon River collided with a containership operated by Brazilian shipping company Mercosul Line, part of the Maersk Group.

A video shows the devastation caused by the head-on collision which happened on August 2, 2017, at around 4 am in the morning, resulting in the tug and some of the nine barges it was pushing sinking near the town of Óbidos in Pará, Brazil.

A total of 11 crew members were on board the tug and barges before the ship struck, with the initial impact breaking one of the barges in half and causing it to sink 35 metres to the bottom of the river.

The 2,478 TEU, 210-meter Mercosul Santos¸ one of four vessels operated by the Brazilian cabotage company Mercosul Line, was heading up river to the port of Manaus.

A team from the fire department, including divers, came from the city of Santarém in the western part of the state of Pará to look for the missing tug boat crew members. Police are also investigating the incident to determine which party is at fault. 

Mercosul Line said it is also investigating the accident.