Captain of X-Press Pearl prevented from leaving Sri Lanka

The Captain of the X-Press Pearl vessel which caught on fire off the coast of Colombo has been prevented from leaving Sri Lanka.

The Colombo Magistrate’s Court today issued an order preventing the Captain, Chief Engineer, and the Deputy Chief Engineer of the vessel from leaving the country.

The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) today completed initial inquiries and the recording of statements from seven crew members, including the Captain of the vessel. 

The facts related to the vessel that fell into distress off the Port of Colombo was presented to the court, after which the Captain, Chief Engineer, and the Deputy Chief Engineer of the ship were prevented from leaving the country.

Meanwhile, nine Sri Lanka Navy divers were deployed today to investigate a suspected water leak in the stern area of the vessel which is still off the coast of Colombo. 

Navy Spokesman Captain Indika de Silva said the divers had inspected submerged parts of the ship to assess any external damages caused due to the fire.

He further said that the salvor team members also boarded the MV X-Press Pearl vessel after the fire was doused today.

The vessel which was en route to the Colombo Port from Gujarat in India was reportedly carrying cargo with chemicals, during which an explosion had occurred due to a chemical reaction resulting in a fire.

Twenty-five crew members had been rescued from the vessel, while two among them were hospitalised with serious injuries.

Eight cargo containers had fallen into the sea after which several debris and packages had washed ashore along the coast from Colombo- Negombo. (Colombo Gazette)

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