Explosion reported onboard vessel off the Colombo harbor

An explosion has been reported from the MV X-Press Pearl which is located off the coast of Colombo.

The vessel is reported to be carrying chemicals and had caught fire early 9.5 nautical miles off the coast of Colombo on Friday (21) while it was en route to Colombo from a port in Gujarat, while, today’s (25) explosion was reported after the fire had intensified.

Colombo residents have been advised not to visit the beach and also to refrain from touching any floating materials as it could be chemicals, the Marine Environment Protection Authority stated.

The Sri Lanka Navy said the vessel is currently in the seas off the Colombo Port and measures are underway to contain the fire.

25 crew members on board the vessel have been rescued while two among them have been hospitalized with serious injuries, the Sri Lanka Navy stated.