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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 November 2006, 23:17 GMT
Nordic storms sink Swedish ship
Line of traffic stuck near Enkoping, central Sweden
Storms have disrupted transport services in parts of Scandinavia
A Swedish cargo ship has capsized and sunk in the Baltic Sea, as storms continue to batter Scandinavia.

Helicopters lifted 13 crew members from the ship despite heavy winds, snow and 5m (16ft) waves, officials say. One crew member is still missing.

The 155m (500ft) vessel sank between the islands of Oland and Gotland.

An oil platform carrying 75 people is still drifting off the coast of Norway. Land, sea and air transport was widely disrupted on Wednesday.

The roll-on, roll-off Finnbirch was on its way from Helsinki in Finland to Aarhus in Denmark when it capsized and sank, with a crew of 10 Filipinos and four Swedes on board.

Ship owner, Lindholm Shipping, told the Associated Press news agency that the cause of the sinking was still unclear.

"We don't have enough information about what could have happened," he said.

Widespread chaos

The crew members were flown to a hospital in Kalmar on the Swedish mainland, suffering from hypothermia.

Earlier, officials reported the ship was on its side and the crew were sitting on the hull.

It was not clear if any of the 260 tons of oil aboard the ship had leaked out, Swedish news agency TT said.

Northern Europe experienced heavy snowfalls, high winds and freezing temperatures on Wednesday.

Land, air and sea transport services were disrupted across Scandinavia.

In southern and central Sweden, power cuts affected some 50,000 people.

On Tuesday, an oil rig broke away from a tow ship in the North sea during stormy weather.

Norwegian rescue services had been planning to tie the rig to a tug boat, but were foiled by rough seas.




SEE ALSO
Country profile: Sweden
18 Sep 06 |  Country profiles

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