Sri Lanka braces for oil spill from sinking cargo vessel

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Singapore-registered MV X-Press Pearl, carrying chemicals and plastic, has been in news since a fire incident on May 20 and subsequent explosion aboard, following which tonnes of plastic pellet deposits were found deposited along the country’s beaches.

The country’s Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA), which termed the incident one of Sri Lanka’s worst ecological disasters in history, has readied oil spill containment booms, to tackle a possible leak from the vessel that officials said carried 350 tonnes of oil in its fuel tanks.

“There is no oil leak from the ship yet, but arrangements are in place to deal with a possible spill. That is the worst-case scenario,” Navy spokesperson Indika de Silva said.

Meanwhile, several coastal villages reported dead fish and other marine organisms by the shore, images of which went viral on social media.

Sri Lanka police are investigating the incident.

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