Container ship fire off Sri Lankan coast “considerably under control”


SINGAPORE (HERE) – The fire has been burning for over a week at container ship MV X-Press Pearl off the coast of Sri Lanka has been “considerably contained,” the South Asian country’s port authority said on Friday.

“Local authorities, with the help of firefighters and salvos, are committed to assessing the impact of the incident and mitigating any environmental damage,” the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) said.

MV X-Press Pearl, which is a supply ship carrying chemicals, is anchored about 9.5 nautical miles northwest of Colombo port.

The Indian Coast Guard has helped in efforts to put out the fire that has erupted on the Singapore-flagged vessel since May 20.

They were also joined by European firefighters and rescue experts, fearing the ship, which has been burning for eight days, could shatter and cause a huge oil spill, according to the newswire. Agence France Presse (AFP).

The fire may have broken out “due to a reaction to chemicals carried on the ship,” SLPA said.

The ship was carrying 25 tons of nitric acid, several other chemicals and cosmetics, and was piloted by a crew of 25, who are Filipino, Chinese, Indian and Russian nationals. All crew members were evacuated on May 26.

The ship, which was carrying around 1,486 containers, left the port of Hazira in India on May 15. Some containers fell from the ship.

Market sources said that a shipment of around 6,000 tonnes of polyethylene (PE) from Qatar was on board MV Ex-Press Pearl.

The shipment was a mixture of Linear Low Density PE (LLDPE), High Density PE (HDPE) and Low Density PE (LDPE) produced by Qatar Petrochemical Company (QAPCO), part of which is expected to be unloaded in Southeast Asia. Is.

Additional reporting by Izham Ahmad


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