The MV X-press Pearl, a cargo ship with 05 hazardous chemicals and oil, sank near Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. The Economic Times reports that the situation has alarmed countries in the Indian Ocean region.
The ship, which is said to have been made in China, crashed in Sri Lankan waters intending to enter the port of Colombo. Suspicion has been raised as to whether information about containers containing hazardous chemicals on board was concealed. This is because several deep-sea vortices have been blocked from exploring the bottom of the sinking vessel for oil spills.
The people of this country are well aware that the incident not only caused environmental damage but also raised safety-related fears. Various suspicions have also been raised about the large amount of chemicals that ship planned to carry through the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean region.
Colombo-based officials have expressed surprise at China’s moves in the region. The MV X-Press Pearl, manufactured by China’s Zhou Sanghong International Shipyard Ltd., has sunk at sea, raising questions about its quality.
The ship was en route from the United Arab Emirates to Singapore via Qatar, India, and Sri Lanka. Before its arrival in Sri Lanka on May 19, it was reported that it have leaked nitric acid and some other dangerous substances. Thirteen Chinese crew aboard the ship have landed in Colombo.
The bomber struck shortly after noon on May 25. The five Indian crew members on board were also in touch with Sri Lankan authorities and the Indian Embassy in Colombo. The Indian Navy and Coast Guard have come to the rescue following a request from Sri Lankan authorities.
The ship sank the next day, although the spread of the fire was brought under control on the 1st of June. 25 tons of nitric acid and other chemicals were found in the vessel. The Environmental Justice Center, an environmental rights organization, and fishermen’s activists have also filed a fundamental rights petition in the Supreme Court against the Sri Lankan government and management of the MV X-Press Pearl ship.
In the petition, it is said that Local authorities should have prevented the devastation caused to Sri Lanka by a fire on a ship loaded with more dangerous chemicals and plastics. The petitioners also demanded that both criminal and civil legal actions should be taken against the ship’s captain and crew.
It is also clearly mentioned in the petition that appropriate laws and regulations should be made to prevent such disasters in the future. Long before it entered Sri Lankan waters, on May 11, the ship’s crew learned of an acid leak.
It is noteworthy that ecologists say that the local authorities should not have allowed the ship into Sri Lanka.