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Beijing, EFE The Chinese research vessel Xuelong (“Snow Dragon”) collided with an iceberg in the Amundsen Sea in western Antarctica, reports the Hong Kong daily South China Morning Post.
The information points out that the crash was recorded last Saturday at 10.47 Beijing time (02.47 GMT), when the icebreaker, which was traveling at a speed of 3 nautical knots (5.5 kilometers per hour), collided with the ice mass due to poor visibility due to fog.
The accident broke the Xuelong’s mast and damaged the sides of the vessel, although it did not cause problems in the engines, water tanks or navigation and communication equipment; likewise, no crew member was injured.
The photographs show large blocks of ice and snow that cover the front of the boat; According to the CCTV state network, up to 250 tons of cargo would have been deposited on the bow and the front cover.
Beijing sent emergency teams to check the condition of the ship and the crew and to repair the damaged parts.
According to a statement published on Wednesday on the website of the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Xuelong is already in “normal state” and has left the iceberg concentration area of the Amundsen Sea to continue its scientific expedition.
The Xuelong, which was designed for cargo transport when it was built in Ukraine in 1993 and later converted into a research vessel, has carried out dozens of scientific expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic.
Chinese authorities started building a Xuelong 2 in December 2016 and expect it to start operations in the first half of this year.