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Norway to raise sunken mercury-laden sub

Jan. 30, 2009 at 3:44 PM

BERGEN, Norway, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- The Norwegian government will raise the wreck of a submarine that sank off the country's western coast while carrying 65 tons of mercury, an official says.

Fisheries and Coastal Minister Helga Pedersen said the decision has been made to raise the underwater remains of the World War II German submarine U-864 to prevent any environmental damage, the Norway Post said Friday.

Concerns regarding the sunken submarine and its cargo's potential impact on the environment have repeatedly been raised by environmental groups and members of nearby populations.

Pedersen said an initial proposal to build a sarcophagus for the submarine was rejected amid concerns the entombment may not be sustainable in strong underwater currents, the Post reported.

"I have given highest consideration to the insecurity felt by the local population, as well as the concern by the fisheries industry over possible contamination of the waters, if the wreck would just be entombed," Pedersen said Thursday.

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