International News Update : Sri Lanka halts towing burnt cargo ship

Insight Online News

Colombo, June 3 : The Sri Lankan Navy announced that operations to tow the burnt X Press Pearl container ship had been halted after the rear end of the vessel hit the sea bed.

Navy Spokesman Captain Indika De Silva told Xinhua news agency on Wednesday evening that following a few hours of operations to tow the vessel, operations were halted as the rear end had hit the sea bed and this could cause further damages.

By Wednesday night, the front part of the vessel was still seen floating on the water while the rear part had sunk.

The Marine Environment Protection Authority said that the burning of the X Press Pearl vessel had caused a massive environmental disaster as beaches from the south coast to the western coast had been damaged due to the debris which was washed ashore.

Over 1,000 people have been deployed to clean up the damaged beaches in the past few days and people have been warned not to touch any of the debris as it could be harmful.

The singapore-flagged X Press Pearl ship was carrying 1,486 containers with 25 tonnes of Nitric Acid and several other chemicals and cosmetics from the port of Hazira, India on May 15.

The vessel sent out a distress call while sailing close to the Colombo Port on May 20, and soon caught fire.

The government said a large amount of marine life had been killed as a result of the pollution from the ship.

The government has decided to pay a certain amount of compensation for the fishing community who had to suspend activities incurring losses of their daily income and those who are involved in related industries.

IANS

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