By Vyshnavy Velrajh
The ship MV X-Press Pearl has begun to sink with water entering one part of the vessel.
Navy Spokesman Captain Indika de Silva told Colombo Gazette that the fire has been contained to a great extent, but certain parts at the back of the vessel have begun to submerge.
He said operations have been launched to tow the X-Press Pearl vessel into the deep seas towards the West.
Captain Indika de Silva said the operation was launched early this morning, with a team of salvors attempting to board the vessel.
However, as they were unable to board the ship, a team of Navy personnel had joined the operation and had successfully boarded the vessel after which they had helped the salvors to board the ship, he said.
The Navy Spokesman said the towing of the X-Press Pearl container ship was suspended this afternoon as the stern of the vessel had touched the ocean floor.
He added that there was no leakage of fuel from the vessel thus far, despite it striking the seabed.
The X-Press Pearl vessel which was carrying cargo with chemicals had caught fire due to an explosion off the coast of Colombo.
25 crew members were rescued from the vessel, while 2 were hospitalised with serious injuries.
Eight cargo containers had fallen into the sea after which several debris and packages had washed ashore along the coast from Colombo- Negombo.
The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) yesterday completed initial inquiries and the recording of statements from seven crew members, including the Captain of the vessel.
Thereafter, the Colombo Magistrate’s Court issued an order preventing the Captain, Chief Engineer, and the Deputy Chief Engineer of the X-Press Pearl vessel from leaving Sri Lanka. (Colombo Gazette)