A fire on board a cargo ship off Sri Lanka’s coast continued to rage for the 11th straight day on Tuesday, causing what might be the region’s worst marine pollution in history. the residence MV X-Press Pearl, a Singapore-registered ship.
According to press agency PTI, the vessel, carrying chemicals and raw materials for cosmetics, had traveled from Gujarat’s Hazira port to the Port of Colombo. The ship had over 300 metric tonnes of fuel in its tanks and was loaded with 1,486 containers carrying about 25 tonnes of hazardous aqua fortis. The blaze has reportedly destroyed most of the cargo on board.
Along with columns of fumes rising into the sky, the incident has also led to tonnes of fuel and microplastics spilling into the Indian Ocean and killing its marine life, Guardian reported.
The Sri Lankan Navy and therefore the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) are working to kill the Fire. Five tugboats are fire fighting, aided by a Sri Lankan navy ship. From the Indian side, two ships and an ICG aircraft are deployed to bring the fire in control. All crew members are evacuated.
Aerial pictures released by Sri Lanka’s air force on May 25 showed the ship engulfed in flames and thick smoke. The presence of high winds is intensifying and spreading the blaze, Sri Lankan navy spokesman Indika de Silva told The Associated Press.
Despite relief efforts, the vessel is probably going to sink and authorities are preparing for a serious oil spill. They reported the ship was “unstable” and “expected to sink”.