Explosion aboard MV X-PRESS PEARL; crew evacuated
The situation on the X-Press Pearl deteriorated dramatically today. The three-month old, 2,700 teu ship, carrying 25 tons of nitric acid, caught fire on Thursday off Colombo Port with Sri Lanka deploying aircraft and navy vessels to assist in firefighting.
This morning the vessel suffered an explosion, all crew have evacuated and at least eight containers, some feared to be containing acid, have tumbled into the sea, with authorities issuing swimming bans nearby.
With the vessel now in a dire state, an operation is underway to try and move it 50 nautical miles away from the shoreline. High winds in the area are also fanning the flames into a greater inferno.