Sri Lanka sued over ship disaster as possible oil spill looms
The MV X Press Pearl was carrying hundreds of tonnes of chemicals and plastics when it burned for almost two weeks just off Sri Lanka’s coast
Environmentalists on Friday sued the Sri Lankan government and operators of a container ship loaded with chemicals and plastic that burned offshore for almost two weeks, as international experts prepared to deal with a possible oil spill.
The Singapore registered MV X Press Pearl has been slowly sinking into the Indian Ocean since Wednesday after a fire that raged for 13 days within sight of the coast.
Tonnes of microplastic granules from the ship have swamped an 80 kilometre (50 mile) stretch of beach which has been declared off limits for residents. Fishing in the area was also banned.
The CEJ said government inaction was “against the concepts and principles of environmental law”. A hearing is yet to be fixed.
The legal challenge seeking unspecified damages came as foreign experts were deployed to help Sri Lanka contain a potential oil leak from the burnt out wreckage.
Representatives from the International Tankers Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF) and Oil Spill Response (OSR) were onshore monitoring the ship, the operators of the vessel, X Press Feeders, said.
Its chief executive, Shmuel Yoskovitz, apologised to Sri Lanka for the disaster.
“I like to express my deep regrets and apologies to the Sri Lankan people for the harm this incident has caused to the livelihood and to the environment of Sri Lanka,” Yoskovitz told Channel News Asia. Second dive aborted
Choppy seas and poor visibility prevented navy divers from checking the hull for a second day Friday, Sri Lanka navy spokesperson Indika de Silva told AFP.
He said a team reached the sinking vessel and made a cursory inspection on Thursday, but could not carry out their mission because of poor visibility.
Meanwhile, the MEPA has readied oil dispersants and skimmers should the vessel leak its 350 tonnes of fuel oil, believed to be still in hermes wide clic clac bracelet replica
its tanks, and cause further massive environmental degradation.
An Indian coastguard vessel in the area has equipment to deal with an oil slick, according to the Sri Lankan navy, which has requested assistance with the operation.
Sri Lanka Harbour Master Nirmal Silva told AFP Friday that no oil had leaked 48 hours after the stern submerged.
“Looking at the way the ship burnt, expert opinion is that bunker oil may have burnt out, but we are preparing for the worst case scenario,” Silva said.