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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 November 2007, 15:25 GMT
'Banana wave' hits Dutch islands
Bananas lie on a beach on Terschelling island on 7 November 2007
Islanders have been combing the banana-strewn beach
Thousands of bananas have been washed up on two Dutch islands in the North Sea after several containers fell off a cargo ship in a storm, officials say.

They say beaches on Terschelling and Ameland islands were littered with bunches of unripe fruit - to the delight of some local residents.

"I think everybody... has a bunch now," a Terschelling official was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.

It was not clear if the bananas were edible after floating in salty water.

The bananas were washed up on Wednesday after at least six containers fell off the ship transporting the fruit from Cuba, said Gossen Buren, a shipping official on Terschelling island. At least one of the containers burst open.

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Hours later about 1km (0.6 mile) stretch of a beach on the island was littered with the bananas, Mr Buren said.

Local authorities are now in talks with the ship's insurance company on what to do with the bananas.

Some local residents had already suggested sending them to Dutch zoos, Mr Buren said.

The islanders are no strangers to different materials turning up on their beaches, including shoes, briefcases and toys.

The two islands are about 115km (70 miles) north of Amsterdam.



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