Underwater footage of the sunken ship that could contain nuclear waste
A shipwreck apparently containing toxic waste is being investigated by authorities in Italy amid claims that it was deliberately sunk by the mafia.
An informant from the Calabrian mafia said the ship was one of a number he blew up as part of an illegal operation to bypass laws on toxic waste disposal.
The sunken vessel has been found 30km (18 miles) off the south-west of Italy.
The informant said it contained “nuclear” material. Officials said it would be tested for radioactivity.
Murky pictures taken by a robot camera show the vessel intact and alongside it are a number of yellow barrels.
Labels on them say the contents are toxic.
The informant said the mafia had muscled in on the lucrative business of radioactive waste disposal.
But he said that instead of getting rid of the material safely, he blew up the vessel out at sea, off the Calabrian coast.
He also says he was responsible for sinking two other ships containing toxic waste.
Experts are now examining samples taken from the wreck.
An official said that if the samples proved to be radioactive then a search for up to 30 other sunken vessels believed scuttled by the mafia would begin immediately.