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Toxic ship that killed 10 free to leave Estonia

10/16/06

Paldiski, Estonia

The ship at the center of a toxic waste scandal which has killed at least 10 people in Ivory Coast has been given permission to leave Estonia.

Toxic Ship

The Probo Koala sailed for the Baltic after more than 500 tons of waste from its tanks was dumped at several sites in Abidjan in August.

The Dutch firm which chartered the ship said it had contracted an Ivorian company to dispose of the material.

The ship was impounded in Estonia at the request of the Ivorian authorities.

Greenpeace environmentalists had also pressed the Estonian government to take action, and blocked the ship in harbour at Paldiski with one of their own vessels.

A spokeswoman for the Estonian prosecutor's office said that while the vessel remained the subject of a criminal investigation, all the necessary evidence had been gathered and it was free to sail.

Trafigura, the Dutch charter firm, has said the Probo Koala "followed all correct procedures when it offloaded slops at Abidjan".

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