Posted on 05.26.2021 by Chandana Sirimalwatte in Local News with 0 Comments
The debris of containers fallen to sea after the explosion occurred in X-Press Pearl vessel floated down to the beaches of Nigambo, Ja-Ela and Kapugoda, creating substantial environmental damages to the area.
Yesterday, a large explosion took place inside the vessel and all 25 crew members were evacuated safely from the vessel. Two Indian crew members who sustained injuries during the explosion were admitted to the Colombo National Hospital.
The fire continued to blaze during May 25 and by late afternoon containers were dropping to the sea. Sri Lanka Maritime Environmental Protection Authority declared a Tier II oil spill event from on board bunkers as the blaze got worse.
Meanwhile, residents of the area seen collecting the debris risking their lives and ignoring lockdown rules.
The subject Minister Rohitha Abayegunawardhana, having observed the vessel in wreck last Friday, announced THAT the fire in the vessel controlled. However, his irresponsible statement heavily backfired in social media, accusing the minister of gaining cheap publicity from this tragic incident.
The ship departed from the port of Hazira, India on 15 May 2021. The container vessel carried 25 tons of nitric acid, 1,486 containers, other poisonous chemicals and cosmetics and it arrived in Colombo on 19 May 2021. It was reported that the ship caught fire on 20 May 2021 9.5 nautical miles (17.6 km; 10.9 mi) northwest of the Colombo Port.
The naval industry sources pointed out the vessel had indicated a humongous danger sign when the fire erupted. However, authorities took the danger lightly and ended up in this disruptive situation.