X-Press Feeders, operators of the container ship X-Press Pearl today said that they will cooperate with the relevant investigations into the cause of the fire on the ship in Sri Lankan waters.
The ship operators said that firefighting operations to extinguish the blaze aboard the vessel have successfully reduced the area affected by flames and contained it to the aft of the ship, despite the adverse weather conditions.
Firefighting tugs will continue spraying and misting the vessel with support from the Sri Lankan Navy and Indian coastguard, who remain on scene, X-Press Feeders said in a statement.
“As of 0945 Hours on May 29, 2021, Sri Lankan time, the salvors have confirmed that the vessel’s hull remains structurally intact, as do the bunker tanks, and there has been no loss of oil into the port’s waters. The Sri Lankan Navy has also confirmed that there have been no oil sightings since the fire began,” the statement said.
Contractors continue working with local authorities on their third day of shoreline clean up efforts to safely dispose of the debris that has come ashore in some areas; this work is ongoing.
The crew member who was transferred to a special facility in a military hospital after testing positive for Covid-19 remains asymptomatic and is recovering from a leg injury sustained during his evacuation from the vessel. A second injured crew member continues to recover from his injuries in a local hospital.
All other crew members who remain in a Colombo quarantine facility are in good health and are in contact with their families.
“We remain fully focused on the ongoing firefighting and salvage operation and will cooperate with the relevant investigations into the cause of the fire,” X-Press Feeders said.
The fire on the ship MV X-Press Pearl has had a serious impact on the environment with debris now spread between Negombo and Moratuwa.
A cleanup operation is underway on the beach as bags full of plastic and other hazardous material continue to get washed ashore.
The Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) said that major damage has already been caused to the environment as a result of the blaze on the ship which has lasted for over a week. (Colombo Gazette)