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Smit salvage team land to help out with X-Press Pearl blaze

A salvage team from Smit flew into Sri Lanka yesterday to help out in the ongoing blaze onboard the brand new 2,700 teu X-Press Pearl. The ship, carrying 25 tons of nitric acid, caught fire on Thursday afternoon and while authorities thought they had sufficiently doused it, the Singapore-flagged vessel reignited over the weekend.

The Sri Lankan navy and airforce have been helping the local port authority try to contain the fire which started in one of the containers and spread across many other boxes.

Sri Lanka’s Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) has decided against demanding that the vessel move to deeper waters outside of Sri Lanka, reversing a decision reported on Saturday.

Sri Lanka has recent memories of fighting fires on ships – having had to contain a massive blaze on a Greek VLCC last year that threatened its ecosystem.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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