Fire on vessel off Sri Lanka’s coast rages for 11th day raising fears of major ecological impact

A hearth onboard a cargo vessel off Sri Lanka’s coast continued to rage for the 11th straight day on Tuesday, inflicting what could possibly be the area’s worst marine air pollution in historical past. The hearth on MV X-Press Pearl, a Singapore-registered ship which is anchored close to the Colombo seashore, broke out on Could 20 and intensified 4 days later after an explosion.

In accordance with information company PTI, the vessel, carrying chemical substances and uncooked supplies for cosmetics, had travelled from Gujarat’s Hazira port to the Port of Colombo. The ship had over 300 metric tonnes of gas in its tanks, and was loaded with 1,486 containers carrying about 25 tonnes of hazardous nitric acid. The blaze has reportedly destroyed most of the cargo on board.

Sri Lankan navy troopers clad in protecting fits try to evade a wave drifting particles ashore from the burning Singaporean ship MV X-Press Pearl which is anchored off Colombo port at Kapungoda, out skirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday, Could 27, 2021. (AP Photograph/Eranga Jayawardena)

Together with columns of fumes going up into the sky, the incident has additionally led to tonnes of gas and micro plastics spilling into the Indian Ocean and killing its marine life, Guardian reported.

The Sri Lankan Navy and the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) have been working to stamp out the fireplace. 5 tugboats are fireplace preventing, aided by a Sri Lankan navy ship. From the Indian aspect, two ships and an ICG plane have been deployed to convey the fireplace underneath management. All crew members have been evacuated.

Colombo: ICG ships Vajra and Vaibhav engaged in dousing the flames on the container vessel MV X-Press Pearl engulfed in flames off Colombo port, Sri Lanka. (PTI Photograph)

Aerial photos launched by Sri Lanka’s air power on Could 25 confirmed the ship engulfed in flames and thick smoke. The presence of excessive winds have been intensifying and spreading the blaze, Sri Lankan navy spokesman Indika de Silva instructed The Related Press.

Regardless of aid efforts, the vessel is prone to sink and authorities are making ready for a major oil spill. The Colombo Gazette newspaper reported the ship was “unstable” and “anticipated to sink”.

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