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Help with beached whales

Provincial officials say they're working with federal agencies to help small towns on Newfoundland's west coast deal with rotting whale carcasses.

Three massive blue whales washed ashore near communities close to Gros Morne National Park after it's believed they were trapped in ice.

In Trout River, town officials have appealed for help to remove a stinking, 26-metre long carcass.

The federal Fisheries Department says the 60-tonne rotting whale is above the high water mark and is the province's responsibility.

Vanessa Colman-Sadd, a spokeswoman for Service NL, says the province is in talks with federal agencies on how to handle the situation.

A researcher with the Fisheries Department has said chances that the bloating whales will explode are small.

Jack Lawson says it's more likely gases will escape as the whales' skin breaks down, deflating like an old balloon.

Local officials have raised concerns about potential health hazards and a powerful stench that could affect the looming tourism season.

The Canadian Press

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