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21 shipping containers fall overboard

HONOLULU (AP) — At least 21 shipping containers fell overboard into the ocean near Hilo on Monday, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

Nine of the 40-foot shipping containers were located and 12 remained missing, the Coast Guard said.

The crew of the tug and barge Ho Omaka Hou saw the containers were missing after mooring in Hilo. Containers were reportedly adrift approximately 8 miles north of Hilo and one was adrift in Hilo Harbor, the Coast Guard said.

The Coast Guard is investigating and shipping company Young Brothers is working with a salvage team to locate and recover as many containers as possible. No injuries were reported.

The barge was traveling from Honolulu, said Chris Martin, Young Brothers director of terminal operations.

“We have deployed a team of investigators to work closely with state and federal officials in determining the cause of the incident,” Martin said in a statement. “Once the site has been declared safe, we will determine the number of containers impacted and contact affected customers.”

The Coast Guard issued a warning to mariners to keep a lookout for containers that may pose a hazard to navigation.