Settlement reached in New Zealand ship disaster

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The worst maritime disaster in New Zealand’s history came to a legal conclusion on Monday, nearly a year after the accident.

Daina Shipping Co., owner of the 774-foot cargo ship Rena, which ran aground on a reef on Oct. 5, 2011, will pay $27.6 million ($23 million in U.S. currency) to settle the claims of the government and several public bodies, including Maritime New Zealand.

The settlement fee could rise to $38 million if the company gains resource consent to leave part of the wreck in place at the reef.

The New Zealand government has paid about $47 million so far for the Rena salvage and cleanup operation.

The Rena’s stern section separated Jan. 7 in heavy seas, leaving the incident to be considered New Zealand's worst maritime environmental disaster.

Click here for the full report by The New Zealand Herald and click here for the official announcement by Maritime New Zealand, which responded to the accident and oversaw the cleanup.

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