At least 220 of the 281 containers that fell off a Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) vessel in rough weather off the Dutch coast have been located on the floor of the North Sea.
According to the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, the boxes were located using sonar technology.
It said 40 containers are still missing and that two out of the missing boxes hold dangerous materials.
One that broke open was transporting 250 sacks of toxic peroxide in powder form.
Some sacks had washed up on shore.
The other container with dangerous goods, which holds 1,400 kilograms of lithium batteries, is still unaccounted for.
The ministry said it does not present an acute risk for the environment.
Efforts to recover the containers could take months.
The Swiss shipping company has agreed to take on all costs for the clean-up and salvage operations.
Eighteen containers washed ashore since they toppled into the water on Jan. 2 as the MSC Zoe navigated its way from Antwerp, Belgium, to Bremerhaven, Germany in heavy weather.
The incident saw huge amounts of packaging plastic and household items, including televisions, washed up on coastlines in the Netherlands and Germany.
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