ECONOMYNEXT – Singapore flagged container vessel X-PRESS PEARL anchored off Colombo port is being closely monitored by Sri Lanka’s navy and Port authorities after fire was doused overnight, an official said.
The ship had arrived in Sri Lankan waters and had been anchored 9.5 nautical miles off Colombo Port after leaving Hazira Port of India, when it caught fire on May 20.
Navy vessels and a Sri Lanka Ports Authority tug had helped fight the fire.
“Currently the fire has been brought under control by the Sri Lanka Navy and SLPA,” Sri Lanka Navy spokesman Captain Indika de Silva told EconomyNext.
“It is too early to conclude that the fire completely out. So our units are on standby. There is heat due to the iron environment.”
The fire had broken out in the forepart of the ship where containers carrying chemicals were stored, he said.
X-PRESS PEARL was carrying 1486 containers. The ship had 25 tons of Nitric Acid, other chemicals and cosmetics on board, a Navy statement said.
Sri Lanka Navy had immediately dispatched 02 Offshore Patrol Vessels, Sri Lanka Naval Ship (SLNS) Sagara, Sindurala and a Fast Attack Craft to the scene of the fire.
The container ship had been manned by a crew of 25, who are Philippine, Chinese, Indian and Russian nationals.
Navy and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority too have got on board the ship to inspect. (Colombo/May21/2021)