Two Ships Collide Off Belgium’s Zeebrugge; Crew of 11 Rescued

Sinking Ships: Crew Rescued After Ships Collide 0:40

BRUSSELS — A Dutch cargo ship sank off the Belgian coast after colliding with a gas tanker early Tuesday. The crew of 11 was rescued.

The accident happened close to the busy waterway off the port of Zeebrugge which many ships use on their way to Europe's major ports to Rotterdam and Antwerp.

Image: Dutch ship sinks following collision in north Sea
Dutch cargo ship Flinterstar sinks in the North Sea following a collision, some eight kilometers off the coast of Zeebrugge, Belgium, on October 6, 2015. The cargo ship collided with the gas tanker Al-Oraiq, all 12 sailors aboard were rescued, while no hazardous materials aboard the sunken ship but oil leaked into the sea. DRAM VAN DE BIEZEN / EPA

Provincial governor Carl Decaluwe told VRT radio that "some 20 ships were involved in the rescue because there is little time to save people considering the hour and temperatures." The collision happened just after 4 a.m. with air temperatures below 10 Celsius (50 Fahrenheit).

There were no immediate reports of major environmental damage. The gas tanker was anchored off Zeebrugge after the collision to assess the damage.