New Delhi: Indian Coast Guard Ships Vaibhav and Vajra continue efforts to douse the intense fire onboard container vessel MV X-Press Pearl off Colombo. ICG Dornier aircraft has undertaken air reconnaissance of the area for assessment and support. No oil spill has been reported. ICG ship Samudra Prahari, a specialised Pollution Response (PR) vessel has also been despatched in PR configuration to augment the firefighting efforts and respond to oil spill, if occurred. ICG deployed its assets in response to request of Sri Lankan authorities and Govt of India directives thereon.
The distressed vessel MV X-Press Pearl was carrying 1486 containers with nitric acid and other hazardous IMDG code chemicals. The extreme fire, damage to containers and prevailing inclement weather has caused the vessel to tilt to one side resulting in falling of containers overboard. Concerted joint efforts are in progress by two ICG Ships and four tugs of Sri Lankan authorities to douse the fire.
ICG ship Vajra had entered Colombo port on 26 May 21 evening and handed over 4500 litres of AFFF compound and 450 kg Dry Chemical Powder to Sri Lanka authorities before rejoining the firefighting operations early morning today. In addition, ICG formations at Kochi, Chennai and Tuticorin are standby for immediate assistance towards Pollution Response. Continuous coordination is being maintained with Sri Lankan Coast Guard and other Sri Lankan authorities for augmenting the overall response operations towards containing the fire onboard MV X-Press Pearl.