Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Online Business Success

Sri Lanka faces ecological disaster as burning container ship starts to sink

A chemical-laden container ship that has been on fire for almost two weeks has started to sink off the coast of Sri Lanka, sparking fears of a serious environmental disaster.

Efforts to move the feeder vessel MV X-Press Pearl into deeper water failed on Wednesday, prompting the Singaporean operator to shift its focus to mitigating environmental damage as the risk of a potential oil spill heightened.

The ship has already caused one of the worst marine environmental disasters in Sri Lanka’s history, with chemicals from incinerated containers entering surrounding waters and plastic pellets washing ashore on sandy beaches near Negombo.

X-Press Feeders, the operator, told the Financial Times that it had called in Itopf, an NGO that responds to oil and chemical spills, and Oil Spill Response, a British group specialising in managing oil spills, as the fallout from the vessel’s plight threatens to escalate.

Associated Press reported Sri Lanka Navy spokesperson Capt Indika de Silva saying the ship could cause severe pollution if it sank at its current location.

Sri Lankans salvage wreckage washed to shore from the burning Singaporean ship MV X-Press Pearl © AP

The ship had about 350 tonnes of bunker fuel onboard but it is still unclear how much was burnt off during the fire and whether a certain volume could be pumped out of its tanks.

“The ship’s aft portion is now touching bottom at a depth of 21 metres,” said X-Press Feeders in a statement, while the bow is likely to gradually sink down with smoke rising out of two cargo holds.

Sri Lanka’s Marine Environment Protection Authority has drawn up a plan in case there is an oil spill, according to Kanchana Wijesekera, the country’s fisheries minister. Physical barriers would be deployed to slow the spread and skimmer ships would be used to help disperse any oil slick.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

The fire began on May 20 when the ship, which was carrying 1,486 containers, was anchored off Colombo waiting to enter the port.

Sri Lankan officials believe the conflagration was caused by chemicals the newly built vessel was carrying, including 25 tonnes of nitric acid, which can be used to make fertilisers and explosives.

The Department of Fisheries has suspended vessels from entering from the Negombo Lagoon and halted fishing activity from Panadura and Negombo.

The Sri Lankan navy and Indian coastguard have been supporting efforts to extinguish the fire and limit pollution resulting from the vessel sinking.

A 25-strong firefighting team and crew were evacuated from the ship after a second explosion last week. One of the crew later tested positive for Covid-19. A local court has imposed a ban preventing the ship’s captain, chief engineer and assistant engineer from leaving the country.

Source link

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Click to comment

Leave a Reply


Loan And Finance

Sony Music Entertainment’s RCA Records has launched its first Asia division in Greater China. The new label will focus on signing artists in the...

Top Stories

The top financial officials from the Group of Seven (G7) largest advanced industrial economies has called on the Financial Stability Board to speed up...

Loan And Finance

Continued progress and trading momentum across Life and General Insurance Strong and resilient capital position, with capital return to be completed by end of...

Online Business Success

Making hybrid work environments work Photo by CoWomen on Unsplash Over the past two years, the workplace has evolved from forced remote work to...

Top Stories

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or SWIFT, the Belgian financial messaging network used by banks in international money transfers, announced Thursday that...


We are excited to bring Transform 2022 back in-person July 19 and virtually July 20 – 28. Join AI and data leaders for insightful...


You May Also Like


Introductions get a lot of attention. I’ve explored the topic of how to write them even though as a reader, I always skip them....

SEO Guide

There are all kinds of pictures of the world on the internet, but to find one of these specific pictures that you want to...

Online Business Success

The internet is now our nervous system. We are constantly streaming and buying and watching and liking, our brains locked into the global information...

Online Business Success

You can think of link building in many ways. I like to call it tedious, painful, and a test of patience. It’s also necessary...