'Ecological disaster': debris covers Sri Lankan beach after cargo ship catches fire

Sri Lankan officials said the country was facing its worst marine ecological disaster after a Singapore-flagged cargo ship caught fire near the capital sending piles of debris and chemicals floating onto nearby beaches. On Monday (May 31) teams worked to clean the normally pristine beaches. According to officials, the fire onboard the 186-meter vessel has also polluted fish breeding sites and mangroves around the Negombo Lagoon. The cargo vessel - MV ''X-Press Pearl''- was carrying a consignment of chemicals and raw materials for cosmetics from Hazira in Gujarat to Colombo Port on May 20 when it caught fire some 9.5 nautical miles away from the port of Colombo.