Sri Lanka Will Sue S’pore-Registered Ship For Marine Pollution After Vessel Burned For 11 Days

Singapore-Registered Vessel MV X-Press Pearl Burns In Sri Lanka Sea

For 11 days, a Singapore-registered cargo carrier burned off Sri Lanka’s west coast, causing a tremendous amount of marine pollution.

Now, Sri Lanka is planning to file a lawsuit against the owners, crew, and insurers of the MV X-Press Pearl.

The vessel was carrying 25 tonnes of nitric acid and plastic raw materials, Yahoo News reported.

Sri Lanka will sue Singapore ship for marine pollution

The Marine Environment Protection Authority of Sri Lanka said it’ll be taking legal action on the MV X-Press Pearl after the raging fire on the vessel caused massive marine pollution.

While the environmental damage hasn’t been assessed yet, MEPA chairman Dharshani Lahandapura said it may be the worst marine pollution Sri Lanka’s ever seen.


Environment officials raised concerns of polyethylene pellets washing up on beaches, threatening fish-breeding shallow waters, according to Channel NewsAsia (CNA).

There might also be reduced demand for seafood due to this, which authorities will have to deal with.

MV X-Press Pearl burned for 11 days

The fire started when the vessel was waiting to enter Colombo harbour.

It’s believed to have been caused by a nitric acid leak.

Apparently, the crew was aware of the leak since 11 May but it wasn’t declared.

Following an explosion on the vessel, the 25-member crew was evacuated.

The fire lasted 11 days and destroyed most of the cargo, some of which also fell into the Indian Ocean.

There was no damage to its fuel tanks, the owners of the vessel said, and the hull is intact.

Marine pollution is devastating

According to Economy Next, dead fish and turtles were being washed up on Sri Lankan beaches, with plastic pellets found on the fishes’ gills.

The losses, not only from a financial but also environmental standpoint, appear devastating.

However, the losses are still being assessed, as well as the exact causes.

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Featured image adapted from AFP.

Jonathan Yee

Jonathan is a bedroom headbanger. His Kobo is never far from him.

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