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Beached Freighter Leaks Oil Into English Channel

The British Coast Guard is keeping close watch on a crippled freighter leaking oil into the English Channel off southwest England.

Authorities say about 200 tons of oil has already leaked into the channel from a crack in the hull.

Strong winds whipped across the coast Sunday, preventing emergency crews from securing the ship and removing the oil. They say there are more than 2,300 containers on the ship, some carrying such hazardous materials as battery acid.

The freighter is stranded near Sidmouth. It began sinking during a fierce winter storm Thursday. British and French rescuers safely plucked all 26 crewmembers from the disabled ship.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.