A stranded container ship has finally split in two off the coast of New Zealand. In a massive explosion last month, it spewed out more than 300 containers of baked beans and sprouts, leaving a trail of debris over three miles of shoreline. It is the country's worst maritime disaster.
The SS Flatulence ran aground on a reef and had been stuck there for three months. All doors and bulk-heads were automatically sealed, and there was a massive build-up of toxic gases.
Rescuers were unable to get near for three weeks after the break-up because of the terrible stench. Thousands of sea-birds have dropped from the skies and gasped their last.
Maritime investigators initially pointed the finger of blame at the ship's captain, Oliver Lettripp, who was the last to leave the stricken ship and had warned people "not to go in there for 10 minutes."
"North Island was bedevilled by acrid fumes and pungent smells, tinged with a hint of delicate, gaseous aromas," said local restaurateur Marco Pierre Shite.