Catastrophe feared as fire-hit freight ship sinks off Sri Lanka coast

Catastrophe feared as fire-hit freight ship sinks off Sri Lanka coast

Amazing the ability to ignore important news.

I was told about this and had to go looking.

al Jazeera,

2 June, 2021

Ship bring tonnes of chemicals is sinking, federal government and navy state, in among the island country’s worst-ever marine catastrophes.

A freight ship bring tonnes of chemicals is sinking off Sri Lanka’s west coast, the nation’s federal government and navy stated, in among Sri Lanka’s worst-ever marine catastrophes.

Salvage specialists were trying to tow the fire-stricken container ship that had actually been filled with chemicals into the deep sea as the vessel began to sink off Sri Lanka’s primary port, authorities stated on Wednesday.

The Singapore-registered MV X-Press Pearl, was bring 1,486 containers, consisting of 25 tonnes of nitric acid, together with other chemicals and cosmetics that were filled at the port of Hazira, India, on Might 15.

Smoke increases from a fire on board the MV X-Press Pearl vessel in the seas off Colombo Harbour [Sri Lanka Air Force Media/Handout via Reuters]

The ship was anchored off the island’s west coast when a fire emerged on May 20, when the ship was anchored about 9.5 nautical miles (18 km) northwest of Colombo and waiting to get in the port.

Authorities have actually been fighting the blaze ever since, as flaming containers loaded with chemicals have actually fallen from the ship’s deck, the navy stated last month.

Water immersed the MV X-Press Pearl’s quarterdeck on Wednesday, a day after firemens snuffed out the blaze burning for 12 days.



Sri Lankan navy representative Captain Indika de Silva informed Al Jazeera the rear part of the ship has actually sunk which they have actually stopped its towing.

” The ship is resting in the bottom of the seabed now. There disappears towing. We have actually stopped attempting to tow it out of the Sri Lankan waters,” he stated.

” Now our issue has to do with any oil spill. We are carefully monitoring this therefore far we have actually not found any spill. It will be ravaging if that takes place, however we are taking all safety measures.”

Smoke increases from a fire on board the MV X-Press Pearl vessel in the seas off Colombo Harbour [Sri Lanka Air Force Media/Handout via Reuters]

The navy thinks the blaze was brought on by the chemicals being transferred on the Singapore-flagged vessel.

Sri Lankan cops are penetrating the fire and a court in Colombo on Tuesday enforced a travel restriction on the captain, the engineer and the assistant engineer from leaving the nation.

The vessel’s 25- member team was left recently after a surge. They consist of Philippine, Chinese, Indian and Russian nationals.

The blaze ruined the majority of the ship’s freight and contaminated surrounding waters and a long stretch of the island country’s renowned beaches.

Sri Lankan navy members eliminate particles cleaned off to a beach from the ship which ignited off Colombo Harbour, on a beach in Ja-Ela, Sri Lanka [Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters]

Tonnes of plastic pellets have actually overloaded the island’s shoreline and abundant fishing premises, developing among the greatest ecological crises in years, professionals state.

Sri Lanka’s Marine Environment Defense Authority (MEPA) chairman Dharshani Lahandapura called it a “manufactured catastrophe”.

” This is a regrettable event for Sri Lanka. It has actually adversely affected the nation in lots of methods. What we are doing today is reducing the unfavorable effect,” he informed Al Jazeera.

Lahandapura stated the majority of chemicals on the were “extremely reactive” and discharged through fumes and gases. “Some even liquified in sea water,” he stated. “There were no indications of an oil spill.”

On the other hand, the federal government has actually prohibited fishing along an 80 km (50 miles) stretch of the shoreline, impacting 5,600 fishing boats, while numerous soldiers have actually been released to clean up the beach.

Al Jazeera’s Minelle Fernandez on Tuesday stated the “beaches themselves are a sorry sight to see”.

” Strolling along a few of these beaches in this large stretch that has actually been impacted, all you see is a blanket of white and black– they are the microplastic pellets blended with an entire load of scorched, charred remains and particles product for lots of kilometres as far as the eye can see,” she stated.

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