Cargo Ship Carrying Tonnes Of Chemicals Sinks Off Sri Lanka.

Cargo Ship Carrying Tonnes Of Chemicals Sinks Off Sri Lanka

Smoke rises from a fire onboard the MV X-Press Pearl vessel as it sinks.

Colombo:

A cargo ship carrying tonnes of chemicals sank off Sri Lanka's west coast, its navy said on Wednesday, and tonnes of plastic pellets have fouled the country's rich fishing waters in one of its worst-ever marine disasters.

The government on Wednesday suspended fishing along an 80-km (50-mile) stretch of the island's coastline, affecting 5,600 fishing boats, and hundreds of soldiers have been deployed to clean affected beaches.

The Singapore-registered MV X-Press Pearl, carrying 1,486 containers, including 25 tonnes of nitric acid along with other chemicals and cosmetics, was anchored off Sri Lanka's west coast when a fire erupted onboard after an explosion on May 20.

Flaming containers laden with chemicals tumbled into the sea from the ship's deck as emergency crews sought to contain the blaze over the ensuing two weeks.

The craft began to sink early on Wednesday, and a salvage crew tried to tow the vessel to deeper water away from the coast, Fisheries Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said in a tweet, but the attempt was abandoned after several hours.

"The towing of the fire-engulfed X-Press Pearl ship was stopped due to the rear end of the vessel hitting the sea bed," navy spokesman Captain Indika de Silva told Reuters.

Photos taken by the country's air force showed the charred wreck of the ship spewing white smoke as it listed to the right and began sinking, and part of it soon touched the seabed, just 22 metres (73 feet) deep in the immediate area.

The navy was preparing to deal with an oil spill after the ship sank, Silva added.

"The ship has dealt a death blow to our lives," said Joshua Anthony, head of a region fishing union. "We can't go into the sea which means we can't make a living."

The MV X-Press Pearl had left the port of Hazira in India on May 15 and was on its way to Singapore via Colombo.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV News

NDTV.com provides latest news from India and the world. Get today’s news headlines from Business, Technology, Bollywood, Cricket, videos, photos, live news coverage and exclusive breaking news from India.

https://www.ndtv.com/

Related news

US Cutting Forces, Missile Batteries In Middle East.

The Pentagon said Friday it was cutting the number of troops and air defense units deployed to the Middle East, confirming a Wall Street Journal report that eight Patriot batteries were being moved...

NDTV News

Hannity evaluates Biden's 'embarrassing' performance during Putin summit.

Hannity evaluates Biden's 'embarrassing' performance during Putin summit.

'Hannity' host says Putin wasn't held accountable for anything during the summit. #FoxNews #Hannity Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service de...

Biden and Putin Exchange Diplomatic Pleasantries, but Differences Remain.

Biden and Putin Exchange Diplomatic Pleasantries, but Differences Remain.

Human rights, cybersecurity, Ukraine continues to be sticking points

Gutfeld: You only need a tiny minority to destroy society.

Gutfeld: You only need a tiny minority to destroy society.

'Gutfeld!' panel discusses liberal musician who got canceled for denouncing arson during George Floyd riots. #FoxNews #Gutfeld Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-e...

Your money: Getting deals as consumer prices spike

Your money: Getting deals as consumer prices spike

Consumer Reports Deals Editor Samantha Gordon offers tips and tricks to save money as consumer prices rise. ABC News Live Prime, Weekdays at 7EST & 9EST WATCH the ABC News Live Stream Here: SUBSCRIBE to ABC NEWS: Watch More on LIKE ABC News on FAC...

Ingraham: Biden's overseas failures exposed

Ingraham: Biden's overseas failures exposed

'The Ingraham Angle' host sounds off on the president's widely-panned G-7 performance. #FoxNews #Ingraham Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news serv...

Experts break down historic meeting between Biden and Putin.

Experts break down historic meeting between Biden and Putin.

The Geneva summit marks a major milestone in Biden’s presidency. Political analysts Rahm Emanuel and Sara Isgur discuss.