Cargo ship Rena breaks into two off New Zealand

Last updated at 10:08
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Watch footage of the Rena broken in two

The cargo ship Rena that got badly damaged when it got stuck on a reef in New Zealand three months ago has broken in two.

Containers have spilled into the sea and a new oil leak is possible.

Heavy seas have snapped off the stern section of the ship, which leaked huge amounts of fuel when it became stranded in October 2011.

300 containers have been washed away, and it's likely most of them will sink to the sea bed.

The stern section of the ship has now slipped off the reef and is sinking below the waves.

It's feared that there could be a new oil leak, but the clean-up teams think it would be smaller than the first one.

The Rena's stranding has been called New Zealand's worst maritime environmental disaster.

The boat struck the Astrolabe Reef off the North Island resort area of Tauranga three months ago.

The ship's captain and other officers face up to 16 charges relating to the wreck.

Tonnes of milk powder from one of the containers spilled into the sea, making the water around the wrecked vessel look really murky, according to reports.

Timber has also been sighted among the debris.

Hundreds of tonnes of fuel have spilled into the sea since the ship ran aground, killing hundreds of seabirds.

Salvage crews have removed more than 1,100 tonnes of oil from the stricken vessel, but there is still 385 tonnes onboard.