ECONOMYNEXT – The gutted container vessel X-Press Pearl was seen sinking as it was being towed away to deeper waters off Sri Lanka continuing to emits smoke, raising fears of an oil spill.
Salvors who boarded the vessel on June 01 had round the engine room flooded, X-Press Feeders, the operators of the vessel said.
Though there were no visible flames, smoke was coming out from cargo holds 1,2 and 3 intermittently, the firms said.
Sri Lanka’s State Minister of Fisheries Kanchana posted pictures of a partially sunk 37,000 Dead Weight Tonne X-Press Pearl being towed away by the multipurpose vessel Posh Teal.
There are also fears of an oil spill.
It is not clear whether over 300 tonnes of bunkers on board have burnt off or are still on board.
Sri Lanka is continuing to clean up beaches.
Authorities have also launched a criminal probe in the incident with the Captain and member of the crew being questioned by police.
“..[S]elect seafarers continue helping local police with their enquiries into the fire and are cooperating with investigators,” X-Press Feeders said.
“We will respect this process and not publicly discuss operational details until the investigation has been completed.” (Colombo/June02/2021)