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Colossal cargo vessel limps way into Belfast harbour

Leviathan of seas three times size of Titanic in for repairs after disaster that sank container ship

By John Mulgrew

Published 17/10/2015

Al Oraiq berthed at Belfast Harbour
Al Oraiq berthed at Belfast Harbour
The ship it collided with in the North Sea

It's a giant of the sea, three times heavier than the Titanic, and it's landed in Belfast for emergency repairs following a collision which sank another ship.

The 315m long Al Oraiq is the biggest cargo ship to have docked in the city in almost 30 years.

It's only been outmatched here - in terms of size - by huge cruise ships such as the Royal Princess.

It sailed into Belfast Lough yesterday, and today will be moved on for repairs at Harland & Wolff. Hard to miss, the 135,000-tonne vessel was involved in a smash with a smaller ship just days ago.

A dozen people were rescued earlier this month after the Al Oraiq collided with a Dutch container ship just off the coast of Belgium.

The ship is designed to carry liquid natural gas across the globe.

But it's believed that it is now empty. It's expected the work could take several weeks, and would involve a survey of the damage done before repairs begin.

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