A cargo ship containing chemicals and plastic is on fire and sinking just off the coast of Sri Lanka. It is just outside the main port in the capital city of Colombo where it has been for two weeks now.
The MV X-Press Pearl began sinking on Wednesday, a day after authorities extinguished a fire that had torn through the vessel over 12 days, reports Sky News.
Volunteers have described the situation as the "worst marine ecological disaster" the country has ever seen.
While no oil leakage has been reported yet, salvage experts are keeping a close eye on the ship. The navy and the coast guard are both dealing with this eco-disaster, and India has sent help in the form of three ships, including one that deals with marine pollution disasters like this.
In the meantime, no one is allowed to fish along the immediate coastline. For about 80km, tonnes of burned fibreglass and plastic pellets are continuously washing ashore. Officials have warned that the debris could contain harsh and poisonous chemicals.
The debris has ruined several kilometres of beach along the coast.
On Wednesday, officials tried to tug the boat further away from the harbour. Unfortunately, the one half of the boat managed to submerge deeper into the water, and those in charge called the project to a halt.
Watch the Al Jazeera video below for more information on the sinking ship.
Image credit: Sky News