(VIDEO) EXCLUSIVE footage from X-Press Pearl before the fire

(VIDEO) EXCLUSIVE footage from X-Press Pearl before the fire

Written by Zulfick Farzan

16 Jun, 2021 | 1:50 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st); New footage has emerged showing Sri Lankan authorities boarding the X-Press Pearl vessel while it was in the anchorage at the Colombo Outer Harbour, to inspect claims of smoke emitting from one of the containers.

According to the footage there appeared to be no fire onboard the vessel at the time of inspection on the 20th of May.

The X-Press Pearl vessel reached Colombo on the 19th of May and the captain had informed the local agent that smoke was emitting from container FSCU7712264 containing Nitric Acid.

According to new information unearthed by News 1st, the skipper had sent photographs of the situation onboard to the local agent, and thereafter, the situation was informed to the harbour master of the Colombo Port.

It was only then that the Sri Lanka Ports Authority dispatched a team to assess the situation onboard the vessel instructing the skipper of the X-Press Pearl to report hourly updates onboard the container ship.

On Tuesday (15), Sri Lankan State Minister (Dr) Nalaka Godahewa said the country is not fully equipped to handle a disaster on its own.

“We depend on our neghbouring countries for assistance,” he told a media briefing.

X-Press Feeders, operators of the container ship ‘X-Press Pearl’, confirm that the vessel’s bow and forecastle deck are now submerged, and the forward section of the hull continues to slowly settle to the seabed at a depth of 21 meters.

Observations from the Salvors are there has been no noticeable fuel oil spill, and some minor debris has been collected.

A grey sheen continues to be observed emanating from the vessel, and discoloration of the sea in and around the wreck remains.

This has been apparent since the vessel’s stern became submerged, and the remnants of the cargo in the 1486 containers that were on board were exposed to seawater.

The salvors will remain on scene to deal with any possible debris supported by the Sri Lankan Navy and Coast Guard, who have oil spill response capabilities on standby.

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