Removal of the X-Press Pearl wreckage to begin early next month

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – Removal of containership X-Press Pearl shipwrecked in Sri Lankan waters is scheduled to begin early next month.

The Marine Environmental Protection Authority will carry out such activities subject to the terms and conditions.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing says that the final report on the environmental damage caused by the ship accident will be submitted before the 30th of next month.

The Marine Environment Protection Authority hopes to engage in a long-term investigation into environmental damage.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed the authority to calculate the damage caused to the environment, including the current damage, as well as the cost of rehabilitating the damaged environment.

Another advice given by the Prime Minister is to build a new Maritime Security Management Agency. The calculation of the environmental damage has already commenced, said the Chairperson of the Marine Environment Protection Authority, Dharshani Lahandapura.

The Singapore-registered MV X-Press Pearl container ship carrying a hazardous chemical cargo caught fire on 20 May 2021 while at anchorage 9.5 nm off Colombo Harbor due to a chemical leak in a container and burned for 13 days before the fire was put out on 2nd June. The ship along with its hazardous cargo sank afterwards.

Removal of the wreckage was delayed until after the Southwest Monsoon subsided.

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