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2 GHOST SHIPS GET GO-AHEAD.

TWO more American 'ghost ships' were yesterday given permission to spend the winter in Britain while their ultimate fate is decided.

Campaigners say toxic chemicals and asbestos make the ships, originally destined to be scrapped in a Hartlepool breaker's yard, a health threat. But local MP Peter Mandelson last night said the fears were based on 'misinformation' and that the vessels should be dismantled as planned.

Two ships, the Caloosahatchee and Canisteo, have already arrived in the North East port despite fierce protests from green campaigners.

Another two, the Canopus and Compass Island, are currently on their way across the Atlantic and will also be allowed to spend the winter there.

The Department for Environment said it would be too dangerous for the ships to attempt a return crossing of the Atlantic at this time of year.

'The facts are very different from what is commonly understood,' Mr Mandelson said. 'They pose no danger to Hartlepool. They are not located near any centre of population.'
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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Nov 16, 2003
Words:165
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