Sri Lanka asks operator of fire-ravaged ship for $ 40 million upfront | Sri Lanka News

Colombo is still evaluating the total damage with the claim representing expenses from May 20 to June 1, according to authorities.

Sri Lanka is seeking an interim claim of $ 40 million from the operator of a fire-ravaged cargo ship that sank off the coast of the country to cover part of the costs of fighting the blaze, officials said on Saturday. responsible.

Sri Lanka’s attorney general sent the complaint to lawyers representing X-Press Feeders, the vessel’s operating company, said Darshani Lahandapura, head of the Marine Environment Protection Authority.

She said authorities were still assessing the full amount of damage and the interim claim called for compensation for expenses incurred between May 20, when the vessel caught fire, and June 1.

The MV X-Press Pearl under the Singapore flag started to sink on June 2, a day after authorities extinguished the fire.

Last week, experts restored the burned-out vessel’s data logger.

The fire started as the ship was anchored about 9.5 nautical miles (18 kilometers) northwest of the capital, Colombo, and waiting to enter the country’s main port.

The Sri Lankan Navy believes the blaze was caused by the ship’s cargo of chemicals, which included more than 22 tons of nitric acid and other chemicals, most of which were destroyed in the blaze. But debris, including burnt fiberglass and tons of plastic pellets, has already polluted nearby beaches.

There are fears that a spill of the remaining chemicals and oil on the ship could devastate marine life.

However, Sri Lankan authorities and the ship’s operator say there is still no major oil spill.

The blaze burned for 13 days before being extinguished last week. Attempts to tow in deeper water failed when the stern of the ship sank to the bottom of the sea.

The vessel remains partially submerged in water approximately 21 meters (70 feet) deep.

The government said on Friday it was testing water samples to determine if the ship was leaking oil. The tests were triggered by satellite images from Planet Labs Inc which showed a substance that could be petroleum in the water near the ship.

A Colombo court has banned the ship’s captain, chief engineer and assistant engineer from leaving the country.

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