Gana Adhikar News with inputs from Agencies in Colombo, June 1 : Sri Lankan Naval authorities are now officially confirming that the massive ship fire raging since 20 May just off the coast of Colombo, has been doused today after days of what turned out to be a dramatic multi-national, multi-agencies fire fighting exercise amidst global media spotlight.
The gigantic Singapore-registered ship X-Press Pearl was anchored about 18 km northwest of Colombo in Sri Lanka when a container caught fire on 20 May.
The container ship had on board 1,486 containers of cosmetics and chemicals, including about 27 tonnes of nitric acid.
A huge explosion on Tuesday led to the crew members being evacuated from the ship, and caused several containers to tumble into the sea thereby triggering fears of the hazards in store.
Sri Lankan authorities say the vessel’s 25-member crew includes Philippine, Chinese, Indian and Russian nationals.
The ship had left the Hazira port in India on 15 May and was heading to Singapore.
The massive fire raged on for days and there are now growing international concerns that the island nation of Sri Lanka could be battling its worst marine ecological disaster.
Oil and debris from the giant container ship on fire have coated beaches on its west coast.
Pictures of the beach in Negombo, a popular tourist destination, have triggered widespread outrage both within the country and abroad.
VIDEO: Container ship engulfed in flames off Sri Lanka coast. Sri Lankan authorities are battling to put out a fire raging for a week on a stricken container ship loaded with chemicals to avoid a potential marine environmental disaster