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BD bound goods destroyed as ship burns off Lankan coast

Published : Friday, 11 June, 2021 at 12:00 AM  Count : 310

Smoke rises from a fire on board the MV X-Press Pearl vessel as it sinks while being towed into deep sea off the Colombo Harbour 	PHOTO: REUTERS

Smoke rises from a fire on board the MV X-Press Pearl vessel as it sinks while being towed into deep sea off the Colombo Harbour PHOTO: REUTERS

Goods worth 'millions of takas' destined for at least two Bangladeshi companies have been destroyed by the fire that led to the sinking of a ship off Sri Lanka.
Gazi Auto Tyre Ltd and Meghna Innova Rubber Ltd say the ship contained at least 10 containers with synthetic rubber worth over Tk 35 million they were importing.
The companies have now begun the process to claim compensation from the insurers.
The Singapore-registered MV X-Press Pearl, carrying 1,486 containers, including 25 tonnes of nitric acid along with other chemicals and cosmetics, was anchored offshore when a fire erupted after an explosion on May 20, five days after starting from India's Gujarat for Singapore via Colombo and Chattogram ports.  
Flaming containers filled with billions of plastic pellets tumbled into the sea from the ship's deck as emergency crews sought to contain the blaze over the next two weeks.
The X-Press Pearl, which was only four months old, began to sink early on Jun 2.
A salvage crew tried to tow the vessel to deeper water, away from the coast, but the attempt was abandoned after the rear of the ship touched the sea bed.
The ship's operators, X-Press Feeders, said last Friday there was no sign of an oil spill.
The firm has previously said that much of the remaining toxic cargo had been incinerated in the fire.
Sri Lanka's government has said it would seek redress for the incident, while Singapore has started its own investigation into the incident.
But experts say the damage to the marine habitat may already have been done.
Captain Jasimuddin Sarker, chief nautical surveyor at Bangladesh's Department of Shipping, said they did not receive any information officially on the sinking of the ship or possible damage to environment.
Md Fakhrul Islam, an executive director at Gazi Group, said their six containers of synthetic rubber worth over Tk 20 million were from India's Reliance.
He hopes the stock of rubber they have now will be sufficient to continue production until the next batch arrives.
Federal Insurance, the insurer, received Gazi's claim, said Federal's Managing Director AMM Mohiuddin Chowdhury. They have informed re-insurer Sadharon Bima Corporation, Mohiuddin said.
Md Lutful Bari, a director of Meghna Innova, said they placed their claim to insurer Sonar Bangla Insurance, but did not receive a reply.
Meghna Innova has sufficient raw material for production, he said.
Abdul Khaleque Miah, managing director of Sonar Bangla Insurance, said they have also informed Sadharon Bima about Meghna Innova's claim.
"We are working on quick disposal of the claim."

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