Colombo [Sri Lanka], June 16 (ANI/Xinhua): The carcasses of five dolphins and 31 sea turtles had been found along the western coast of Sri Lanka after the burning of X-Press Pearl cargo ship in the seas off the Colombo Port, Sri Lanka's Department of Wildlife Conservation said.
Local media reports, quoting the department, said on Tuesday that the carcasses were found along the coasts from the capital Colombo all the way to Kosgoda in the south.
Director-General of the Wildlife Department Chandana Sooriyabandara said further investigations had been referred to the Government Analyst as per the requirement of tissue sections of the dead turtles.
A senior official of the Government Analyst's Department, quoted by local media reports said that samples including relevant tissue fragments were still being received.
The official added that a special team had been attached for a full investigation.
The X-Press Pearl ship is registered under the flag of Singapore and was carrying 1,486 containers with 25 tons of nitric acid and several other chemicals and cosmetics from the port of Hazira, India, on May 15.
The vessel sent out a distress call while sailing close to the Colombo Port on May 20, and soon caught fire. The Sri Lankan Navy dispatched vessels to bring the fire under control.
The Marine Environment Protection Authority said the burning of the X-Press Pearl had caused a massive environmental disaster as beaches from the south coast to the west coast had been damaged by debris washed ashore.
A criminal probe was underway into the cause of the blaze. (ANI/Xinhua)