Reporting by Pavani Hapuarachchi Written by Zulfick Farzan
26 May, 2021 | 10:54 am
COLOMBO (News 1st); The Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) said debris from the distressed MV X-PRESS PEARL that fell into the Sri Lankan waters have washed ashore in Negombo and the surrounding areas.
Chairperson of the Marine Environment Protection Authority, Dharshani Lahandapura said there is a possibility the freight containers may consist of dangerous substances.
Therefore, MEPA Chairperson Lahandapura, STRONGLY ADVISED the people NOT to go closer to the debris, NOT to touch anything.
Speaking to News 1st she said, “We received information yesterday that around 20 freight containers fell into the sea from the vessel. Some of the containers have washed ashore to the Negombo beach-side. If there is any object or debris washed ashore in nearby areas, DON’T touch or open those or have any kind of contact as it could pose severe risks.”
Moreover, according to Lahandapura, “plastic pebble” like element had washed ashore in the coastal line covering around 1.5 kilometers.
She emphasized that a clean-up project will be conducted very soon to clear the beach of harmful components.
According to the Marine Environment Protection Authority, the fire onboard the MV X-PRESS PEARL continues to spread rapidly across the vessel.
The National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) said a special investigation was launched to determine whether an oil or chemical spill from the containers on board the burning MV X-PRESS PEARL.
Director-General at NARA, Dr. Palitha Kithsiri said a special team of experts was assigned for this purpose
The vessel which is registered under the flag of Singapore had carried 1486 containers with 25 tonnes of Nitric Acid, several other chemicals, and cosmetics; it had departed from the port of Hazira on India on 15th May 2021.
Sri Lanka Air Force once again on Wednesday (26) dropped 425 kilograms Dry Chemical Powder onto the MV X-Press Pearl in an attempt to contain the fire, said Group Captain Dushan Wijesinghe – Spokesperson for the Sri Lanka Air Force.
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