ECONOMYNEXT – X-Press Pearl, a container ship which caught fire off Sri Lanka’s Colombo Port had entered Hamad Port in Qatar and Hazira in India but were not allowed to discharge containers which were leaking acid, its owner said
“The vessel underwent discharge and loading operations in both ports before continuing on its planned journey to Colombo,” X-Press Feeders said in a statement.
“Applications had been made to both ports to offload a container that was leaking nitric acid but the advice given was there were no specialist facilities or expertise immediately available to deal with the leaking acid.”
Firefighting tugs have been “spraying and misting” the vessel helped by the Sri Lanka Navy and Indian Coast Guard, the firm said.
Firefighting tugs have constantly been spraying and misting the stricken vessel with support from the Sri Lankan Navy and Indian coastguard, who remain on scene. The ship remains at anchor off Colombo port.
One crew member who was transferred to a military hospital after testing positive for Covid-19 was asymptomatic. His leg was injured while being evacuated from X-Press Pearl.
“A second injured crew member continues to recover from his injuries in a local hospital,” the firm said.
“All other crew members remain in a Colombo quarantine facility and are in good health and are in contact with their families.”
Debris from the ship has begun to wash ashore in Sri Lanka and a beach clean up is underway. Authorities are also preparing from a possible oil spill. (Colombo/May30/2021)