Hundreds of dead sea animals were found washed ashore a month following the sinking of the MV X-Press Pearl container vessel off the coast of Colombo. DINUKA LIYANAWATTE/Reuters
After a May fire on a ship, hundreds of dead sea creatures were washed up on Sri Lankan shores.
The ship was carrying dangerous chemicals and it sank in June.
According to Sri Lanka's environment minister, marine species "never perish in this manner" during this time.
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According to officials, the government on Wednesday said that a cargo ship with toxic chemicals, which was carrying 176 turtles and 20 dolphins, sank off Sri Lanka's coast, left behind four whale carcasses.
According to Reuters, the toxins from the MV X-Press Pearl caught fire on May 20, and sank on June 2nd. This shipwreck is being called one of the most devastating environmental disasters in Sri Lankan history.
The 610-foot X-Press Pearl carried more than 1,000 containers, including 25 metric tonnes of nitric acids, which are used in fertilizers, and 350 metric tons fuel.
There were also 78 tons of plastic pellets, called nurdles, onboard. These can absorb toxins and are frequently mistaken for food by sea creatures. These pellets can cause death in animals and are being cleared by soldiers and rescue crews from Sri Lanka's coast.
Locals depend on fishing for their income. Oil, ship debris and toxic chemicals were all banned in the area.
According to Reuters, Environment Minister Mahinda Amarawaera stated that most of the marine life dying off the coast was directly linked to these chemicals. He stated that sea creatures do not die in this manner during the south-western monsoon season.
According to The New York Times, the X-Press Pearl caught fire because of a nitric acids leak in one its containers. The crew flagged it before it entered Sri Lankan waters. X-Press Feeders in Singapore, which is the operator of the vessel, stated that the ship was turned away from ports in India, Qatar, and Qatar after it attempted to unload the leaking container.
The shipwreck has led to civil claims against 15 people, including the captain of the Russian ship.
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