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Container ship in danger of breaking up off the New Zealand coast

Can you imagine coming across this scene on your walk along the beach? As the ship gets pounded by waves the containers are starting to topple off, and at least one of those contained hazardous waste and hasn't been found.

Bradley Ambrose / AFP - Getty Images

People stand on the beach as a container from the stricken ship 'Rena' lies in the water at Mount Maunganui near Tauranga on Oct.13. Salvage crews readied for a badly listing container ship stuck on a reef to break up, deepening New Zealand's worst maritime pollution disaster as it enters a second week.

New Zealand Defence Force via Reuters

A New Zealand Air Force helicopter winches a salvage expert onto the stricken container ship Rena, off the coast of Tauranga, on the east coast of New Zealand's North Island Oct. 13, more than a week after hitting the Astrolabe Reef. Oil tanks on the stranded ship are threatening to break in half salvage experts said on Thursday as the ship's owners apologized for the large clumps of oil washed up on beaches.

They're trying to figure out if they can pump the oil and fuel out of the ship before it breaks up, spilling 1,870 tons of oil and 220 tons of diesel into the ocean.

Natacha Pisarenko / AP

Waves wash the Papamoa Beach dirtied with fuel oil from the Liberian-flagged container ship Rena which has been stuck aground on a reef off the coast of Tauranga, New Zealand, Oct. 13.

They've already found hundreds of dead birds and are working on saving the 51 birds they found and three seals.

Blair Harkness / Maritime New Zealand via Reuters

A penguin affected by fuel-oil from the stricken container ship is treated at the wildlife rehabilitation facility set up at Tauranga made available to Reuters on Oct. 13. Fear grew that the vessel may break up spewing more fuel-oil on to beaches in the country's worst environmental disaster in decades. REUTERS/Blair Harkness/Maritime New Zealand/Handout (NEW ZEALAND - Tags: DISASTER TRANSPORT ENVIRONMENT ENERGY BUSINESS ANIMALS)

The workers trying to clean up the spill by hand, are also finding hundreds of dead fish washed up along the beach.

Bradley Ambrose / AFP - Getty Images

Clean-up workers rake oily sand following the leak from the stricken container ship 'Rena' at Mount Maunganui near Tauranga on Oct.13.

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