“There is nothing we can do.” In Sri Lanka, a ship with tons of chemicals completely sank to the bottom

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Off the coast of Sri Lanka, a vessel with 25 tons of chemicals completely sank to the bottom. Due to difficult weather conditions in the near future, its wreckage will not be obtained, reports Associated Press.


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A container ship with chemicals completely sank off the coast of Sri Lanka on June 17 – almost a month after the fire, which raises concerns among local authorities due to a possible environmental disaster.

The ship’s operator said the wreckage of the X-Press Pearl now lies entirely on the seabed at a depth of 21 meters.

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The head of the local authority for the protection of the marine environment said that it would not be safe to retrieve the wreckage anytime soon due to the rough seas and the monsoon season. The sea is expected to “calm down” in September.

“The sea is very cruel. In a difficult season, we can do nothing,” she said.

Until the wreckage of the vessel is removed, this area will be protected. It is also planned to install navigation beacons and markers for the safety of other vessels.

The Sri Lankan Navy believes that 25 tons of nitric acid and other chemicals transported by the ship were the cause of the fire. Most of the chemicals have burned out, but trash is still taking out on the coast – fiberglass and tons of plastic. However, the main concern is about 300 tons of bunker fuel. It is still unknown whether it burned down during the fire, or sank to the bottom along with the ship.

  • On May 25, 2021, an explosion occurred on the ship, two people were injured. Rescuers evacuated the entire crew from the burning container ship. The police launched an investigation.
  • On June 1, a Colombo court banned the captain, engineer and his assistant from leaving the country. The government also said it would file a lawsuit against the ship’s owners to demand compensation.
  • On June 2, after 12 days of fire, the ship began to sink. The Sri Lankan Air Force tried to tow it farther out to sea, but it sank.
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