Sri Lanka Claims $40 Million in Compensation for a Burning Cargo Ship, which Has Already Collected 1,200 Tons of Plastic Granules and Other Waste | abroad

In the first phase, Sri Lanka will claim $40 million (33 million euros) in compensation from the owner of the cargo ship that burned off the country’s coast.

Sri Lankan Minister for Competent Rohitha Abigunawardena announced on Saturday that preliminary proceedings have been initiated against the owner of the Singapore-registered vessel MV X-Press Pearl immatriculé.

The container ship in question usually sails from India to Singapore. However, during the storm, a chemical leaked from one of the containers, causing a chemical reaction and a severe fire. On June 2, it sank off the coast of Colombo after blazing for nearly two weeks. The ship was loaded with 1,486 containers with 25 tons of various chemicals, including nitric acid, as well as microplastics for the production of plastics and cosmetics.

Several tons of microplastics have already been found on beaches. © AFP

1200 tons of plastic pellets

Environmental authorities in the island nation are calling it the “biggest marine environmental disaster” in years. Hundreds of dead fish and other marine creatures have been found off the coast in recent days, as well as many microplastics. A total of 1,200 tons of plastic pellets and other waste have already been collected on the beaches, but that would only represent half of all that was washed ashore.

Fortunately, the fuel is still on board. Previously, oil and green spots in the water around the boat were an additional concern due to more serious environmental damage, but it is possible that the spots came from chemicals leached into the containers.

Many dead animals washed up on the beach.

Many dead animals washed up on the beach. © Environmental Protection Agency

On Monday, a Sri Lankan court ruled that the navy must monitor the ship until all investigations are completed.

Environmental Protection Agency

© Environmental Protection Agency

Chemical foam on the beach from chemicals.

Chemical foam on the beach from chemicals. © AP

Washed waste bags.

Washed waste bags. © AFP

Cleaning work is still going on.

Cleaning work is still going on. © AP

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