An environmental disaster off the coast of Sri Lanka got worse after a large container ship carrying chemicals and plastic caught fire, sank and could now begin an ‘almost inevitable’ oil spill making it one of Sri Lanka’s worst-ever marine disasters.
The MV X-Press Pearl has nearly 350 tonnes of oil in its fuel tanks.
Navy spokesman Indika de Silva said there has been no oil leak from the ship yet. “But arrangements are in place to deal with a possible spill which is the worst-case scenario,” he said.
An Indian coastguard vessel already in the area has the equipment to deal with an oil slick before it could reach the beaches, according to the Sri Lankan navy, which has requested additional assistance.