ECONOMYNEXT – A fleet of tugs, Sri Lanka Navy and Indian Coast guard vessels are continuing to fight a fire on board the stricken X-Press Pearl which was still smouldering, with the Air Force also dropping dry chemical powder.
As of the morning of May 29, salvors have said the X-Press Pearl’s hull was structurally intact as were the bunker tanks, X-Press Feeders, the owners said.
However smoke was still coming out of the smouldering ship.
Sri Lanka Air Force said a Bell 212 helicopter dropped dry chemical powder on the vessel.
Indian Coast Guard said another vessel ICG Samudra Prahari, joined the relief effort.
The vessel had on board 41,000 litres of Aqueous Film Forming Foam and 700 kilogram of dry chemical powder.
The pollution control ship is capable of firefighting, search and rescue and containment and recovery of oil spills.
X-Press Feeders said an injured crew member who tested positive to Covid-19 was being treated at a military hospital in Sri Lanka and was asymptomatic.
“A second injured crew member continues to recover from his injuries in a local hospital,” the shipping firm said.
“All other crew members who remain in a Colombo quarantine facility are in good health and are in contact with their families.”
Meanwhile authorities in Sri Lanka was continuing beach clean up.
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa inspected the efforts on Saturday.
State Minister for Finance Shehan Samarasinghe said a 5,000 rupee payment being made for Covid-19 affected low income groups will also be paid to fishermen.
Deep sea fishermen who returned to the island on Saturday complained that nets were damaged with a large volumes of fluffy substance that had got snagged in them, apparently from the ship.
Dead fish were also turning up on the shore, some with burn injuries, local television reports showed. (Colombo/May29/2021)