MEPA team looks into damages caused by fire erupted in vessel off Colombo

MEPA team looks into damages caused by fire erupted in vessel off Colombo

May 22, 2021   11:25 am

The Marine Environmental Protection Authority (MEPA) is looking into the environmental damages caused by the fire that erupted in a container ship anchored off the Colombo Harbour on Thursday (May 20).

Thereby, MEPA has dispatched a special team to the location to probe the matter, its chairperson Dharshani Lahandapura stated.

A fire had broken out in ‘X-PRESS PEARL’ carrying Nitric Acid and other chemicals on Thursday afternoon (May 20).

The container ship was in anchorage about 9.5 nautical miles northwest of Colombo harbour at the time of the incident. The vessel had reached the location on May 19 before its entry into the harbour.

The vessel, registered under the flag of Singapore, has departed with 1,486 containers with 25 tons of Nitric Acid, several other chemicals and cosmetics from the port of Hazira, India on May 15.

The distressed container ship had been reportedly manned by a crew of 25, who are Philippine, Chinese, Indian and Russian nationals.

Responding to a distress call, the Navy had dispatched 02 Offshore Patrol Vessels, Sri Lanka Naval Ships (SLNS) Sagara, Sindurala and a Fast Attack Craft to the scene of fire. In addition, one Tug from the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) also joined the firefighting efforts.

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