COLOMBO (NewsRadio); Indictments have been served on five persons at the Colombo High Court over the X-Press Pearl cargo ship disaster.
Indictments were served before Colombo High Court Damith Thotawatte.
They were indicted under eight counts for committing offenses under the Marine Pollution Prevention Act No 59 of 1981.
The five accused were subsequently released on a personal bail of Rs. 1 million each.
Count imposed an international travel ban on all five accused.
The Attorney General filed the case against eight persons, including the five accused following the disaster in Western seas in May 2021.
The X-Press Pearl vessel was carrying 1,486 containers when it caught fire off Colombo on the 20th of May 2021, and began sinking.
81 of the containers were labeled hazardous, and the cargo included 25 metric tons of nitric acid — a key ingredient in the production of explosives, and touted as a possible factor for the fire.
There were several explosions, and it took more than a week to bring the fire under control.
Meanwhile, attempts by authorities to tow the ship to deeper waters failed, and the vessel finally sank on the 2nd of June, a few kilometers off the Western coast.
Several persons were arrested over the incident. Meanwhile, indictments are being served in court after 18 months since the incident occurred.