Jun 6, 2021 - World

In photos: The aftermath of a ship wreck off the coast of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Navy personnel in protective clothing clearing the debris on the beaches of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka Navy personnel in protective clothing clearing the debris from the Sri Lankan beach. Photo: Pushpa Kumara/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The sinking of a cargo ship carrying containers of harmful chemicals and plastics off the coast of Sri Lanka last week is shaping up to be an environmental disaster for the country.

The state of play: The ship, the X-Press Pearl, caught fire on May 20 and burned for two weeks before finally beginning to sink. Toxic debris from the fire has blanketed miles of the country's western coastline.

A man walks past sacks containing debris washed ashore from the Singapore-registered container ship MV X-Press Pearl
A man walks past sacks containing debris washed ashore from the X-Press Pearl. Photo: Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP via Getty Images
Sri Lanka Army personnel remove debris on the beach at Moratuwa, near Colombo
Sri Lanka Army personnel remove debris on the beach at Moratuwa, near Colombo. Photo: Saman Abesiriwardana/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images
Sri Lanka Navy personnel in protective clothing pull ashore the metal remnants of a container washed ashore from the burning cargo vessel
Sri Lanka Navy personnel in protective clothing pull ashore the metal remnants of a container washed ashore from the burning cargo vessel. Photo: Pushpa Kumara/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Chemical granules used to manufacture plastic washed ashore from the burning cargo vessel
Chemical granules used to manufacture plastic washed ashore from the burning cargo vessel. Photo: Pushpa Kumara/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Debris and chemical granules used to manufacture plastic washed ashore in Sri Lanka
Debris and chemical granules used to manufacture plastic washed ashore in Sri Lanka. Photo: Pushpa Kumara/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
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