Crew evacuated after explosion on container ship off Colombo

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COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — An explosion has occurred on a ship anchored near Sri Lanka’s capital on which a fire had been burning for several days, prompting the crew’s evacuation. The navy says the container vessel MV X-Press Pearl was anchored about 9.5 nautical miles (18 kilometers) northwest of Colombo and waiting to enter its port when the fire erupted four days ago. It says it believes the fire was caused by chemicals being transported on the Singapore-flagged ship. The ship was carrying 1,486 containers, including 25 tons of nitric acid and other chemicals. The vessel’s 25-member crew includes Philippine, Chinese, Indian and Russian nationals.

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