U.N. experts inspect major Sri Lanka chemical spill

It was the country's worst ever man-made environmental disaster.

And now experts from the United Nations Environment Program have met with Sri Lankan officials to address the environmental damage, including any connection to the graphic images of dead wildlife on its shores.

The Singapore-registered cargo ship that sank off the country's west coast in June was carrying almost 1,500 containers, including 25 tons of nitric acid along with other chemicals.

Fire erupted after an explosion on May 20th.

Sir Lanka's state minister for coast conservation says U.N. experts addressed the flaming containers filled with billions of plastic pellets that tumbled into the sea.

"The second point they stressed is that most of the plastic pellets from 87 containers have washed ashore. They said this is the largest contamination of beaches with plastic pellets in the world. a couple of similar incidents have happened in other parts of the world but they were minor compared to this. Of the 87 containers, part of it may have been destroyed in the fire, part may have been thrown into the ocean, some may have sunk to the sea bed and the rest were washed ashore. Their opinion is that what ended up on the beach is about 40% of the total amount of plastic pellets from the ship."

Footage from local media shows dead turtles and carcasses of other marine animals washed up ashore on a beach in Colombo.

The minister says an investigation was ongoing to find out whether the dead turtles and fish are connected to the pollution caused by the X-Press Pearl ship.

The U.N. experts say most of the chemicals onboard the ship had been burnt in the fire and evaporated into the air.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting