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Sri Lankan cardinal to sue ship owner over pollution

Singapore-registered container ship has released chemical waste into the sea since catching fire on May 20

UCA News reporter, Colombo

UCA News reporter, Colombo

Published: June 03, 2021 09:46 AM GMT

Updated: June 03, 2021 02:40 PM GMT

Sri Lankan cardinal to sue ship owner over pollution

The Singapore-registered container ship MV X-Press Pearl, carrying hundreds of tonnes of chemicals and plastics, sinks after burning for almost two weeks just outside Colombo's harbor on June 2. (Photo: AFP)

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith has decided to take legal action against the owner of a ship that has caused an environmental disaster on Sri Lanka’s coast.

He said the fishing community has been severely damaged by the Singapore-registered MV X-Press Pearl, which has spewed chemical waste into the sea since catching fire on May 20.

"I am ready to take the lead in taking legal action against the company that owns the ship," said Cardinal Ranjith on June 2 in Colombo.

The container ship was carrying 25 tonnes of nitric acid along with other chemicals and cosmetics when a fire erupted after an explosion.

Officials have warned people not to touch any debris washing up on beaches as it could be harmful. More than 1,000 people including navy and army personnel have been cleaning up beaches in recent days.

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