Navy assists dousing of fire in vessel carrying chemicals anchored off Colombo

A fire has erupted in a container ship ‘X-PRESS PEARL’ carrying Nitric Acid and other chemicals on Thursday afternoon (May 21), stated the Sri Lanka Navy.

The container ship was in anchorage about 9.5 nautical miles northwest of Colombo harbour at the time of the incident. The vessel had reached the location May 19 before its entry into the harbour.

The vessel which is registered under the flag of Singapore has carried 1486 containers with 25 tons of Nitric Acid, several other chemicals and cosmetics from the port of Hazira, India on 15th May 2021. The ship faced this unfortunate occurrence while at anchorage about 9.5 nautical miles off Colombo harbour, having arrived to the location on 19th May before its entry into the harbour. The distressed container ship has been manned by a crew of 25, who are Philippine, Chinese, Indian and Russian nationals.

Meanwhile, special team comprising Sri Lanka Navy and Ports Authority (SLPA) personnel got onboard the ship in the evening (20th) and inspected the situation onboard ship where they suspected that the fire was erupted due to a reaction to the chemicals being transported on the ship. Further, special teams of the Navy and Sri Lanka Coast Guard remain standby to respond to possible emergency situation and the SLPA tug is currently engaged to smother the flames erupted.

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