Cargo ship sinks and splits in half during violent Black Sea storm

Up to 20 people are feared dead after storms sank ships off Turkey and stopped rescuers from heading out to sea till the following day.

Cargo ship sinks and splits in half during violent Black Sea storm
Aerial shots show a cargo ship broken in half after crashing into coastline in Turkey
A 13-strong vessel smashed in half after coming to shore for safety (Picture: Getty)

Up to 20 people are feared dead after violent storms wrecked two large cargo ships off the Turkish coast and flooded towns inland.

The Turkish-flagged Kafkametler sank off the coast of Eregli, northern Turkey, on Sunday, after smashing into a breakwater several times, officials said.

Sea conditions were so dangerous that rescuers could not search for its 12 crew members until Monday morning.

The body of the ship’s cook has been retrieved while the other 11 are missing, according to Turkish transport minister Abdulkadir Uraloglu.

ZONGULDAK, TURKIYE - NOVEMBER 20: A view of the stranded cargo ship that drifted due to the storm in Eregli district of Zonguldak, Turkiye on November 20, 2023. The Panama-flagged cargo ship was split in two due to the storm that was effective in the region. (Photo by Omer Urer/Anadolu via Getty Images)
Violent conditions prevented rescuers from heading out to sea for hours (Picture: Anadolu)
ZONGULDAK, TURKIYE - NOVEMBER 20: A view of the stranded cargo ship that drifted due to the storm in Eregli district of Zonguldak, Turkiye on November 20, 2023. The Panama-flagged cargo ship was split in two due to the storm that was effective in the region. (Photo by Omer Urer/Anadolu via Getty Images)
The Turkish government has confirmed nine deaths due to the storm so far (Picture: Anadolu)

Meanwhile, the Cameroon-flagged Pallada ran aground after anchoring at Eregli, northern Turkey, to shelter from the storm.

High winds and 16-foot high waves shoved the vessel into concrete walls, breaking it in half.

Its 13 crew members made it safely to shore beforehand.

A private vessel saved another dozen crew members onboard a second Cameroon-flagged cargo ship which drifted out to sea after its mooring ropes broke.

ZONGULDAK, TURKIYE - NOVEMBER 20: An aerial view of the stranded cargo ship that drifted due to the storm in Eregli district of Zonguldak, Turkiye on November 20, 2023. The Panama-flagged cargo ship was split in two due to the storm that was effective in the region. (Photo by Omer Urer/Anadolu via Getty Images)
The 13 crew members of the vessel made it safely to shore before it broke (Picture: Anadolu)

Flooding caused the deaths of four people in Batman Province, in the country’s southeast, three people in Zongulda, and one person in Diyarbakir, authorities added.

The victims included a mother and her two children, while a third child remains missing.

Meanwhile, rising water levels forced officials to evacuate a prison in Eregli and move inmates into surrounding facilities.

Fierce storms also carried into neighbouring Bulgaria, claiming the lives of another two people and causing blackouts.

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