Joint rescue operation of X-Press Pearl ship container ship continues

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Rescue operation underway on Saturday Morning. (Photo credit: High Commission of India in Colombo)
Rescue operation underway on Saturday Morning. (Photo credit: High Commission of India in Colombo)

Colombo [Sri Lanka], May 29 (ANI): The joint operation involving India-Sri Lankan assets to extinguish flames of the X-Press Pearl ship, a container ship anchored at Port of Colombo, that caught fire on May 25, is underway, as per Saturday morning visuals sent by the High Commission of India in Colombo.

"Morning visuals of #MVXPressPearl #India - #SriLanka joint operation involving #ICGVaibhav, #ICGVajra, #Dornier and Sri Lankan assets," tweeted the High Commission.

Earlier it also informed about relentless joint efforts of India-Sri Lanka in extinguishing the flames. "Relentless efforts by the teams from India and SriLanka are matched by incremental results. Draught of #MVXPressPearl remains steady and no list / trim is observed," it had tweeted.

The assistance from India came on Tuesday to prevent the ship from sinking.

The distressed container ship had crew members from Philippine, China, India and Russia. The vessel sent out a distress call while being close to the Colombo Port on May 20, and soon caught fire.The Sri Lanka Navy rescued 25 crew members from the cargo ship. Two injured Indian nationals among the rescued were hospitalized for treatment, and one of them had tested positive for COVID-19, according to the health officials.

The Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) has warned of a major environmental disaster and was conducting investigations to assess the impact of the burning vessel.

The MEPA on Thursday said it had lodged a complaint to the Colombo Harbor Police to take legal action against the captain of the fire-engulfed ship and its parent company over the environmental damage it had caused.

Visuals released by local media showed that beaches extending from Colombo to Negombo on the west coast, had been polluted from debris from the burning ship and the police had warned people not to touch it as it may be harmful.

The X-Press Pearl is registered under the flag of Singapore and was carrying 1,486 containers with 25 tons of Nitric Acid and several other chemicals and cosmetics from the port of Hazira, India on May 15. (ANI)