Authorities in Sri Lanka has filed an ‘interim claim’ of $40 million, against the operators of the now-sunk container-ship, X-Press Pearl, to compensate the environmental disaster caused by the ill-fated vessel.
The claim also includes the costs incurred by the government in fire-fighting efforts. The claim however, does not cover the wreck recovery costs, which is to be incurred by the government, and thus, might increase with due time.
Previous Updates: 1. X-Press Pearl – Vital eMails Deleted By Local Agent 2. X-Press Pearl: As Ship Sinks, Sri Lanka Braces For Environmental Disaster 3. X-Press Pearl: Vessel On Verge of Sinking – June 2 Update 4. X-Press Pearl Container Ship – May 31st Update
The Singapore flag registered ship X-Press Pearl was carrying 1486 containers laden with 25 tons of nitric acid and other chemicals. It reported an acid leak on May 20 which caused the fire. However, there was no evidence of an oil spill. After burning for almost 13 days, the ship sank on June 2nd, off the Colombo port in Sri Lanka.
The leaked acid can cause a hazardous impact on the Marine Environment. Caracas of turtles, fishes and sea birds have been found on the beaches (reason not yet confirmed).
Sri Lankan Navy, along with the Indian coast guard are on the scene, to take immediate action if needed. Kitack Lim, secretary-general of IMO also raised concern. The cleaning of the sea has been initiated and till now nearly 1000 tons of waste has been collected and safely disposed off.