Videos: Explosion aboard container ship

Explosion aboard the container ship X-Press Pearl.

There was an explosion aboard the container ship X-Press Pearl off the port of Colombo, Sri Lanka. The fire broke out inside the ship, which was carrying nitric acid.

The fire started on Thursday, May 20, and rescuers seemed almost to have made the best of the fire. The flames now seemed out, when an explosion, which occurred on Monday, May 24, further compromised the situation, which had already been made worse by the strong wind, causing an even more violent fire.

After the explosion aboard the newly built container ship X-Press Pearl, the crew was evacuated. Meanwhile, at least eight containers containing nitric acid have fallen into the sea.

The strong wind, in addition to complicating the operations of extinguishing the flames, also hinders attempts to tow the ship out to sea. The goal is to try to get it at least 50 miles from shore

The fear is that the 186-meter-long and 34-meter-wide ship could split in two and sink, dispersing all of her cargo, including 25 tons of nitric acid, into the sea.