A cargo ship carrying chemicals is sinking off the coast of Sri Lanka, sparking fears of an environmental disaster. The Express Pearl had been on fire for almost a fortnight before the blaze was put out this week. Hundreds of tons of oil from fuel tanks could well leak into the sea, devastating nearby marine health. Tanya Dan Drainers has more.
A pristine coastline and a looming environmental disaster. The express pool has been ablaze for two weeks, and despite the efforts of the Sri Lankan and Indian navies, it’s sinking. There are two possibilities. Either all the fuel has caught fire or the oil could still be there if the oil is still there. We’ve already taken precautionary steps to handle that situation in case there is a leak. On Wednesday, attempts were made to tow the vessel to deeper waters to minimize marine pollution.
But attempts were later abandoned. Beaches along the West Coast have been littered with debris, and the government has banned fishing along an 80 kilometer stretch of coastline. Boats like covid on the shore and livelihoods are on the line.
The ship has dealt a death blow to our lives. We can’t go to sea, which means we can’t make a living.
The Singapore flagged container vessel was carrying close to 1500 containers, including 25 tons of nitric acid and several other chemicals. Sri Lankan officials believe the fire was caused by a nitric acid leak, which the crew had been aware of since May 11.
Lokey unable to I guess it wouldn’t. You know, it’s similar incidents have taken place in other countries and those governments have taken steps to get compensation. We hope to get compensation in accordance with local and international law. We will never give up on that effort. We will calculate the cost from the beginning of this incident.
Questions have now been raised about why the ship was allowed into Sri Lankan waters after being rejected by two other nations. A police complaint has been lodged against the captain with a court order issued to prevent them, along with the chief engineer and an additional engineer from leaving the country. Tanya Adrenals, BBC News.