The MV XPress Pearl: A Singaporean container ship sank off Sri Lanka due to a fire and fears of an oil spill
A Sri Lankan government minister said on Wednesday that a fire-ravaged Singapore container ship that was due to be towed to sea has started sinking near the country's main port, raising fears of a possible oil spill.
In a press conference, Minister of Ports and Navigation Rohita Abigunawardena said that at the direction of President Gotabaya Rajapakaya, Sri Lankan Navy officials boarded the MVX Press Pearl today to make arrangements to withdraw the ship, with the help of a rescue team, but the aft of the ship. He started drowning.
"We now fear the possibility of an oil spill and we are taking the necessary precautions to reduce the damage," the minister added. He added that plans to withdraw the ship have been abandoned, while the navy, the rescue team and the Indian Coast Guard are closely monitoring the situation.
Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had earlier ordered the Singaporean container ship, which was destroyed in a fire, to be towed out to sea for fear that it would sink, near the country's main port.
Rajapaksa has been informed that there is a strong possibility of the ship sinking, 10 nautical miles off the port of Colombo, in addition to the partially burned containers, which contain some chemicals.
There are 1,486 containers on board, cargo including 25 tons of nitric acid, and a large stock of fine plastic granules for use in the production of plastic products.
The ship was on its way from the Indian port of Hazira to Singapore via Colombo when a fire was reported.
The fire was put out after efforts by the navy and elements of the Indian Coast Guard, but more than 30 containers had already fallen into the sea.
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