X Press Pearl the burning ship off Colombo harbour had been denied access by Two ports in Qatar and India had made the way to Colombo Splash a maritime website exclusively reports.
Speaking to the website the Chairman of the Shipowning company of Singapore X press Feeders has said the ship caught fire at anchorage in Colombo but the crew have detected an acid leakage when the ship was in the Arabian sea.
Speaking with Splash today from Singapore, Tim Hartnoll, the executive chairman of X-Press Feeders, said that poor packaging was responsible for the acid leak, which the crew had detected while in the Arabian Sea thousands of kilometres away from Sri Lanka. On detecting the leak, the ship’s captain then contacted two ports – Hazira on the west coast of India and Hamad in Qatar – requesting to offload the containers in question. The requests were denied and the ship, which was delivered from a yard in China this February, made its way to Sri Lanka.
The Chinese built vessel which was delivered from manufacturers last February 2021, is a capacity of 2700TEU. X-Press Pearl ship, which was carrying around 25 tons of acid among the 1,486 containers onboard.
According to the Splash247 maritime web, While salvage teams – assisted by Sri Lankan and Indian military forces – fight to minimise damage, acid and fuel are thought to have spilt into the sea, and the ship’s owner is anticipating the London P&I Club-insured vessel will be declared a total loss.
“The biggest threat to container shipping is a fire onboard on ships,” Hartnoll said.
A separate source at the company commented: “This disaster could have been prevented had those ports done their duty and taken in the cargo rather than endangering the crew and the ship.”
A report from maritime insurer Gard last November warned a fire involving containerised cargo now happens once every two weeks on average.
Gard’s report outlined three main reasons for the fires seen historically. Ranked first is self-heating charcoal. Ranked second is chemicals incorrectly packaged and/or declared with batteries listed as the third biggest cause of fires in containers at sea.