The container ship fire has caused serious pollution on Sri Lanka’s beaches, and the shipowner will face millions of do
The Marine Environmental Protection Agency of Sri Lanka stated that the government will seek compensation of US$1.7 million from the shipowner for clean-up costs.
After burning for nearly 10 days, the fire and explosion of the "X-Press Pearl" ship, which caught fire and exploded at the Colombo Anchorage in Sri Lanka, it had been extinguished.
According to the latest announcement issued by the ship’s owner X-Press Feeders on May 31, the rescue ship is still continuing to extinguish fires to ensure that all areas on the ship have cooled down. In addition, rescuers have boarded the ship and said that the ship's hull structure is intact and there is no oil spill in the port waters.
However, due to prolonged burning, this new ship, which has just launched this year, has changed beyond recognition.
On May 20, a container on the "X-Press Pearl" ship caught fire. On May 25, the fire on the ship went out of control and exploded, and 8 containers fell into the water. 25 crew members were evacuated and two Indian crew members were injured. One of them was also diagnosed with Coronavirus disease.
After the ship caught fire and exploded, a large number of plastic particles leaked out. Officials of the Sri Lanka Marine Environmental Protection Agency have previously warned that the accident is expected to cause an environmental disaster. The country is facing severe beach pollution, and tourism and aquaculture will be also affected.
Currently, the agency is assessing related impacts and losses.
There are reports that at least 30 containers containing chemicals have fallen into the sea and some have been washed ashore.
The director of the Sri Lanka Marine Environmental Protection Bureau said that the fire caused the leakage of plastic particles, which may cause ecological catastrophe for the local area for several years. The government is also worried that this may also pollute the nearby aquaculture industry.
At present, the local 80-kilometer coastline has been blocked. The navy soldiers involved in the rescue have used excavators to clean up plastic particles and other debris.
The Marine Environmental Protection Bureau of Sri Lanka stated that the government will seek compensation of US$1.7 million from the shipowner for clean-up costs.