Investigation report on X-Press Pearl incident submitted to Sri Lankan government


The Sri Lankan government recently received the investigation report on a fire incident that occurred on a foreign-flagged container vessel just off the country’s capital nearly two years prior.

The report, which was completed by a 40-member expert committee and submitted by the country’s Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA), details the extent of the environmental impact of the fire incident that began on the Singapore-flagged containership X-Press Pearl while it was anchored off the coast of Colombo on May 20, 2021.

The firefighting effort lasted six days but was ultimately unsuccessful, as the ship was later rocked by an onboard explosion that necessitated the evacuation of the 25-strong crew.

The ship itself sank while under tow towards deeper waters on June 2, 2021. It has since remained partially submerged and under continuous monitoring by local authorities.

Urban Development and Housing State Minister Arundika Fernando told local media that the incident warrants compensation totalling approximately US$6.5 billion due to the damage suffered by the surrounding coastal environment.

The compensation will also cover activities associated with the ongoing pollution response effort.

The report will later be submitted to President Ranil Wickremesinghe for his review.

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