Sri Lanka seeks initial US$40 million from ship operator who has suffered fire
The authorities stated that Colombo is still assessing the total loss and the claim represents costs from May 20 to June 1.
Sri Lankan officials said on Saturday that Sri Lanka is seeking a US$40 million temporary claim from the operator of a cargo ship that sank off the coast of the country to cover part of the firefighting costs.
Darshani Rahandapura, director of the State Marine Environmental Protection Agency, said that Sri Lanka’s Attorney General had sent the claim to the lawyer representing the ship’s operating company X-Press Feeders.
She said that the authorities are still assessing the total loss, and a provisional claim seeks compensation for the costs from the ship’s fire on May 20 to June 1.
Singapore Flag MV X-Press Pearl Start sinking June 2, the day after the authorities put out the fire.
Last week, experts recovered Data logger from the ship in fire.
When the fire broke out, the ship was moored about 9.5 nautical miles (18 kilometers) northwest of the capital, Colombo, waiting to enter the country’s main port.
The Sri Lankan Navy believed that the fire was caused by the ship’s chemical cargo, which included more than 22 tons of nitric acid and other chemicals, most of which were burned in the fire. But debris, including burning glass fibers and tons of plastic particles, has polluted nearby beaches.
Some people worry that the remaining chemical and oil spills on the ship may damage marine life.
However, the Sri Lankan authorities and the ship’s operator stated that there has not yet been a large-scale oil spill.
The fire burned for 13 days and was only extinguished last week. When the stern sank into the seabed, the attempt to drag it into deeper waters failed.
The ship is still partially submerged in water about 21 meters (70 feet) deep.
On Friday, the government said it was testing water samples to determine if the ship had leaked oil. Satellite images from Planet Labs Inc show a substance, possibly oil in the water near the ship.
The Colombo court prohibited the ship’s captain, chief engineer and assistant engineer from leaving the country.