May 31, Colombo: Police Media Spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana said the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) will record statements today from the captain and chief engineer of MV X-Press Pearl over the fire onboard the container ship.
A ten-member special police team has been appointed to investigate the fire following a complaint lodged by the Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) at the Colombo Harbor Police Station on May 23 regarding the environment damage caused by the fire.
The Colombo Harbor Police has initiated investigations and facts had been reported to the Colombo Magistrate’s Court. Accordingly, the samples of the ship’s cargo and floating objects and seawater samples were sent to the Government Analyst on May 27 as per court orders.
The Singapore-flagged containership on 20th May reported smoke from the cargo hold while at Colombo anchorage at 9.5 nautical miles off the Port of Colombo.
After the fire, the ship’s containers with chemicals exploded, and many of its containers fell into the sea. It was transporting 1,486 containers containing 25 tons of nitric acid, chemicals used for cosmetics and other chemical substances.