Major operation underway to remove wreck of X-Press Pearl

A major operation is underway to remove the wreck of the X-Press Pearl ship from Sri Lankan waters.

Justice Minister Ali Sabry said that the Government has been given an assurance that there is no oil remaining in the ship.

As a result parts of the ship will be cut and removed while the rest will be lifted off the sea bed by a Shanghai salvage company.

The salvage company is in the process of installing several cables under the wreck to lift the ship from the sea bed.

The Justice Minister also said that most of the debris which was spread several kilometres away from the ship has been removed and the rest will be cleared over the next few weeks.

The Justice Minister also said that more compensation is to be sought for the environmental damage caused by the ship disaster.

Australian expertise has been obtained to assess the full damage caused to the environment as a result of the fire on the ship.

The X-Press Pearl vessel which was carrying cargo with chemicals had caught fire due to an explosion off the coast of Colombo in June last year.

Eight containers with cargo had fallen into the sea after which debris and packages had washed ashore along the coast from Colombo to Negombo.

The ship eventually sank in Sri Lankan waters. (Colombo Gazette)