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Sunday June 20th, 2021
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Sri Lanka to probe spill-like satellite images of X-Press Pearl wreck: Minister

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is dispatching experts to the wreck of X-Press Pearl, Coast Conservation Minister Nalaka Godahewa said, after satellite pictures showed a light colored area trailing away from the vessel, which caught fire while transporting sodium hydroxide and other chemicals.

He said Sri Lanka Navy and Indian Coast Guard vessels nearby had said thhere was no visible oil spill, he said.

“Imagery could be misleading,” Gohahewa said in a twitter.com message. “In any case we are dispatching experts today also to verify same.”

The pictures were released Planet Labs, by a satellite imagery and data company.

Picture released by Planet Lab, a satellite imagery and data firm showed a long light coloured area trailing away from the ship.

UK based Sky News speculated that it could be an oil spill. However no visible spill had been observed up to June 09.

X-Press Pearl was carrying over 40 containers of sodium hydroxide or caustic soda (NaOH) is solid form, a class 8 IMDG dangerous good in its holds when the vessel caught fire and sank.
A leaking acid container was stored on top, on deck.

Caustic soda dilute sin water releasing heat in an exothermic reaction. It is not clear how much the chemical remains on board.

the vessel also had over 300 tonnes of bunkers for engines and also fuel to power generators. (Colombo/June09/2021)

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