International Experts Deployed For Sri Lanka Oil Spill
Colombo, June 4 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 4th Jun, 2021 ) :Foreign experts have been deployed to help Sri Lanka contain a potential oil leak from a burnt-out container ship partially sunk off Colombo, the ship's operator said Friday.
"They continue to coordinate with MEPA (Marine Environment Protection Authority) and the Sri Lankan navy on an established plan to deal with any possible spill of oil and other pollutants," the company said.
Its chief executive, Shmuel Yoskovitz, apologised to Sri Lanka for the disaster, which saw the ship burn for 13 days and inundated the island's beaches with huge amounts of plastic pellets.
"I'd like to express my deep regrets and apologies to the Sri Lankan people for the harm this incident has caused to the livelihood and to the environment of Sri Lanka," Yoskovitz told Channel news Asia.
With the ship's stern now on the sea bed and the bow slowly sinking, environmentalists fear an oil leak could cause even greater degradation to marine life.
He said a team reached the sinking vessel and made a cursory inspection on Thursday, but could not carry out their mission because of poor visibility.
Sri Lanka's Harbour Master Nirmal Silva said Thursday that no oil had leaked so far.
The vessel was carrying 81 containers of "dangerous cargo" including acids and lead ingots.
The escape of microplastic granules from the ship's cargo has already forced a fishing ban and prompted concern for the marine environment as well as the local economy.
Sri Lankan authorities believe the fire was caused by a nitric acid leak which the crew apparently knew about nine days before the blaze started.