An explosion rocked container ship X-PRESS PEARL in the morning May 25, followed by fire. The ship is, according to latest pics, engulfed in fire and thick black smoke. All 25 crew were evacuated, 2 of them suffered burns. 8 containers fell overboard. The ship is surrounded by offshore tugs, tugs and Navy boats, firefighting continues, though probably, there’s little salvors can do now, fearing more explosions.

May 24 UPDATE: Four tugs are currently deployed in firefighting, including offshore tugs, plus Sri Lankan Navy ship and craft. Salvage company was reportedly contracted. The ship remains in the same position.

May 23 UPDATE: Firefighting continues with several tugs surrounding X-PRESS PEARL, Sri Lankan Navy ships are also deployed, firefighting operation is coordinated by Navy and Port Authority. A senior navy official said the intensity of the fire was increasing after leakage of the chemicals inside the vessel.
The ship remains at her position with all crew on board, she wasn’t moved outward further to sea, or out of Sri Lankan waters. Sri Lanka’s Marine Environment Protection Authority reportedly demanded that the ship should be moved out, outside Sri Lankan waters, but later corrected the statement, saying that “The priority will be to douse the fire and then move the ship to a safe zone before making any attempt to board the ship.”

Cargo in containers on board of container ship X PRESS PEARL caught fire in the afternoon May 20, on Colombo Anchorage. The ship arrived at Colombo anchorage on May 19 from Hazira India, with 1486 containers on board, loaded among other goods, with nitric acid, other chemicals and cosmetics. Sri Lankan Navy is engaged in fire fighting, as of 0330 UTC May 21 the ship was in the same position, understood firefighting still continues, with deployment of tug or tugs, including offshore tug, and probably, Navy ships, too.

Container ship rocked by explosion 1

According to Sri Lankan Navy press-release, ship is manned with 25 crew, which includes Philippine, Chinese, Indian and Russian nationalities. The ship is brand new, she was built in China, started trading in Feb this year.
Source : Maritime-News