Sri Lanka to sue Singapore vessel owners over pollution

Criminal probe launched into blaze aboard the ship

Sri Lankan authorities on Sunday said they will sue the owners of a Singapore-registered cargo carrier, which has burned for 11 straight days off the island’s west coast and caused some of its worst-ever marine pollution.

Police said a criminal investigation was also launched into the blaze aboard the MV X-Press Pearl, which was carrying 25 tonnes of nitric acid and plastic raw materials. The fire, still burning, has destroyed much of the cargo, some of which also fell into the Indian Ocean.

Tonnes of microplastic granules have inundated the beaches, forcing a fishing ban and sparking fears of ecological devastation.

Authorities are planning legal action against the owners of the vessel, its crew, as well as insurers.

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