Singapore-flagged container ship on fire for days off Sri Lanka coast

Author: Pearl Bantillo


SINGAPORE (ICIS)--A fire has been raging for days on board a Singapore-flagged container vessel off the coast of Sri Lanka, while efforts to extinguish the blaze continued.

The fire at the MV X-Press Pearl, a feeder vessel carrying some chemicals anchored around 9.5 nautical miles northwest of the Port of Colombo, started on 20 May, according to the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA).

SLPA said that the fire may have erupted “due to a reaction to the chemicals being transported on the ship”.

MV X-Press Pearl was carrying 25 tonnes of nitric acid, several other chemicals and cosmetics, and was manned by a crew of 25, who are Philippine, Chinese, Indian and Russian nationals, SLPA said.

All crew members have been evacuated as of 26 May.

The ship, which was carrying around 1,486 containers, had departed from the port of Hazira in India on 15 May. Some of the containers have fallen off the ship.