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Sri Lanka cargo ship fire: Environmental disaster as plastic washes up on beaches

Authorities in Sri Lanka tried to avert an environmental disaster on Thursday as a fire-damaged container ship that had been carrying chemicals partially sank off the country’s main port of Columbo.

Fear remains that both chemicals, as well as hundreds of tons of oil from the vessel’s fuel tanks, could leak into the sea if it sinks. Such a disaster could devastate marine life and further pollute the island nation’s beaches.

The disaster has already caused debris - including several tons of plastic pellets used to make plastic bags - to wash ashore.

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