Fuel threat from beached ship

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High winds beached a cargo ship off France’s Atlantic coast, leaving some of the 220 tons of fuel in its hold leaking, threatening a local beach.

Officials in the Morbihan region said the ship’s 19-man crew was evacuated by helicopter early yesterday as their vessel ran aground close to the shoreline.

A strip of fuel less than a mile long was reported to be heading towards Erdeven beach in Brittany in north-western France.

Rescuers were pumping the fuel from the cargo hold of the Maltese-flagged ship in a bid to empty it.

The French electric company said some 370,000 homes were without electricity as winds of up to 80mph winds blew across France, triggering alerts in numerous regions.