A cargo ship carrying tons of chemicals is sinking off Sri Lanka’s west coast, the country’s government and navy said on Wednesday in one of Sri Lanka’s worst maritime disasters.
SingaporeThe -registered MV X-Press Pearl, carrying 1,486 containers including 25 tons of nitric acid, along with other chemicals and cosmetics, was anchored off the west coast of the island when fire on 20 May.
The Navy said last month that officials have been battling the fire since flammable containers loaded with chemicals fell from the deck of the ship.
Tons of plastic pellets have become a swamp islandBeaches and rich fishing grounds, experts say, pose one of the biggest environmental crises in decades.
“The rescue company involved in X-Press Pearl has indicated that the vessel is sinking in the present condition,” Fisheries Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said in a tweet.
The government has banned fishing in an 80-km stretch of the beach, affecting 5,600 fishing boats, while hundreds of soldiers have been deployed to clean up the beach.
A rescue team is escorting the ship into deeper waters, Wijesekera said.
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