The vessel’s operator hasn’t offered specific details on why the fire started, but preliminary investigations point toward a chemical reaction.
The 25-member crew was evacuated safely, but all fishing on a 50-mile (80 km) distance of the coastline has been suspended, leaving 5,600 fishing boats docked. Two of the crew members suffered some leg injuries but are now safe and on their way to recovery.
The maritime nightmare might get even worse now, as the ship started to sink, worrying authorities of a potential oil spill into the Indian Ocean. The vessel has begun to sink after an unsuccessful endeavor to tow it to deeper waters.
The X-Press Pearl was built this year in Singapore and was operated by X-Press Feeders. It was around 610 ft (185 m) long. The ship left from the port of Hazira, India, and was supposed to arrive in Singapore via Colombo.
X-Press Feeders stated that there are no reports of oil pollution so far, and the vessel is now sitting at a depth of 68 feet (21 meters). Sri Lanka’s Navy and the Indian Coast Guard are ready to take action in case of any possible debris.