Sri Lanka evacuates crew from burning vessel

An explosion was reported from within the vessel on Tuesday (May 25), Navy spokesman Indika De Silva said, adding that an air force helicopter was using dry chemical powder to douse the fire.

The MV X-Press Pearl, a container vessel sailing with a Singaporean flag and carrying cosmetics and chemicals including 25 tonnes of nitric acid, was anchored off the Colombo harbour when a container caught fire on Friday (May 21), officials said.

The vessel had left the Hazira port in India on May 15 and was on its way to Singapore via Colombo.