Sri Lanka's State Minister of Fisheries, Kanchana Wijesekera, said on Twitter the X-Press Pearl was "sinking at the current position" and fishing activities and other vessels have been barred from entering the Negombo Lagoon.
The fire on the MV X-Press Pearl has been burning since May 20, ravaging the Singapore-flagged ship, which officials say is only about five months old.
The X-Press Pearl is also carrying around 350 metric tons of fuel oil and the sinking further alarmed environmentalists, who were struggling to understand the amount and impact of debris already shed by the ship.
The presence of high winds have been intensifying and spreading the blaze, Sri Lankan navy spokesman Indika de Silva toldThe Associated Press.
As of 1100 Hours on May 31, 2021, Sri Lankan time, the salvors have confirmed that the vessel's hull remains structurally intact, and there has been no loss of oil into the port's waters.
An official involved in the mitigation efforts said earlier that local experts feared the vessel was unstable.
"The fire-fighting efforts also saw a lot of water sprayed onto the decks".
Images of the vessel shared by Sri Lanka's Navy showed the charred body of the container ship with its stern appearing to be submerged in the water as smoke continues to billow from its bow.
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