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Burning cargo ship in Sri Lanka raises environmental concerns

Sri Lankan authorities have expressed concern over a cargo ship as fears mount over the environmental impact of one of the nation’s worst marine disasters.

The MV X-Press Pearl, a Singapore-registered ship, was carrying over 200 tonnes of chemicals at the time it caught fire off Sri Lanka’s west coast two weeks ago.

Although the nitric acid has burnt off, experts are concerned about the 1,500 containers of plastic pallets which have washed up on beaches, prompting fears over the safety of local wildlife.

Experts have also warned the plastic wastage could be carried to beaches as far as Indonesia.

Marine Biologist and Oceanswell founder Dr Asha de Vos says the beach is “not a pretty sight”.

“Today when I went there I was very heartbroken to see piles of plastic pallets everywhere,” she said.

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