(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) –The Colombo High Court today directed the Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) to report to court on January 20 on the progress of the investigation into the burning of the MV X-Press Pearl container ship.
When the case was taken up before Colombo High Court Judge Namal Balalle today, the Russian captain of the fire-stricken Singapore registered ship and the three directors of shipping company’s local agency, who have been named as suspects in connection with the disaster, appeared in court
The State Counsel who appeared for the Marine Environment Protection Authority informed the court that further investigations are being carried out into the incident.
Accordingly, the judge ordered the case to be re-called on January 20 and directed the MEPA to report on the progress of the investigations on that day.
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.
Due to the damage to the ship, fishing from Panadura to Negombo (Ma Oya) was suspended and declared a no-go zone.