Advertisement
Monday, Oct 18, 2021
Outlook.com
Outlook.com

Sri Lanka Ship Fire Causes Significant Damage To The Planet: UN

The container ship carrying chemicals sank off Sri Lanka’s capital on Thursday nearly a month after catching fire, raising concerns about a possible environmental disaster.

Sri Lanka Ship Fire Causes Significant Damage To The Planet: UN
This photo provided by Sri Lankan Navy shows the sinking MV X-Press Pearl off Colombo port, Sri Lanka. | (Sri Lanka Navy via AP)
Sri Lanka Ship Fire Causes Significant Damage To The Planet: UN
outlookindia.com
2021-06-20T16:29:27+05:30

The UN representative in Sri Lanka said the sinking of a container ship that caught fire while transporting chemicals off the capital Colombo has caused “significant damage to the planet” by releasing hazardous substances into the ecosystem.

The Singapore-flagged X-Press Pearl sank off on Thursday a month after catching fire, raising concerns about a possible environmental disaster.

The UN said it was coordinating international efforts and helping Sri Lanka in assessing the damage, recovery efforts and preventing such disasters in the future.

“An environmental emergency of this nature causes significant damage to the planet by the release of hazardous substances into the ecosystem,” UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka Hanaa Singer-Hamdy said in a statement late Saturday.

"This in turn threatens lives and livelihoods of the population in the coastal areas.”

 A UN team of oil spill and chemical experts— provided by the European Union— has been sent to Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka has already submitted an interim claim of $40 million to X-Press Feeders to cover part of the cost of fighting the fire, which broke out on May 20 when the vessel was anchored about 9.5 nautical miles (18 kilometers) northwest of Colombo and waiting to enter the port.

The Sri Lankan navy believes the blaze was caused by its chemical cargo, which included 25 tons of nitric acid and other chemicals, most of which were destroyed in the fire. But debris including burned fiberglass and tons of plastic pellets have already polluted nearby beaches.

A ship manifest seen by The Associated Press said the ship carrying just under 1,500 containers, with 81 of those described as “dangerous” goods.

The main concern has been about 300 tons of bunker oil used as fuel for the ship. But officials have been saying it could have burned off in the fire.

Both Sri Lankan authorities and the ship's operator, X-Press Feeders, have said so far there is no sign of an oil spill.

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Kashmir Civilian Killings: Panicky Migrant Workers Start Leaving Valley

Kashmir Civilian Killings: Panicky Migrant Workers Start Leaving Valley

Some workers shifted to safer localities after militants kill two more labourers from Bihar.

‘Rail Roko’ Hits Railway Operations in Punjab And Haryana

‘Rail Roko’ Hits Railway Operations in Punjab And Haryana

Protest called by SKM demanding removal of Union MoS (home) Ajay Mishra goes on peacefully, commuters affected.

IND vs ENG, T20 World Cup 2021, Live: India Make Rocking Start

IND vs ENG, T20 World Cup 2021, Live: India Make Rocking Start

Follow live cricket scores of India vs England T20 World Cup warm-up match in Dubai. Several English players played in the recently concluded IPL in UAE.

Former US Secretary Of State Colin Powell Dies Due To Covid-19 Complications

Former US Secretary Of State Colin Powell Dies Due To Covid-19 Complications

Colin Powell, who served Democratic and Republican presidents in war and peace, succumbed to Covid-19 complications at the age of 84, his family said.

Advertisement