Cargo ship carrying chemicals sinks off Sri Lanka's coast, officials fear oil spilling.

On Wednesday, a cargo ship carrying tonnes of chemicals sank off Sri Lanka's west coast, its navy informed. Also, tonnes of plastic pellets contaminated the rich fishing water of the country, leading to its worst-ever marine tragedies.

On the same day, the government halted fishing in around an 80 km (50 miles) stretch of the island's coastline, affecting 5,600 fishing boats, and also soldiers have got deployed for cleaning of the affected beaches.

The ship was carrying, 1,486 containers, including 25 tonnes of chemicals such as nitric acid in its vessel and 350 metric tons of oil in its tank, which was anchored off Sri Lanka's west coast when the fire flared onboard after an explosion on May 20.

The Sri Lanka Navy and Indian Coast Guard have been working from May 20, to stop the MV X-Press Pearl from sinking, after it caught fire.

According to a statement by the Singaporean - registered ship, the rear of the vessel hit the sea bottom off the coast of Colombo on Wednesday and " the forward section is setting down slowly. "

"Salvors will remain with the vessel to monitor the ship's condition and oil pollution, if any. The immediate focus is to minimize any further damage to the environment," operators X-Press Feeders said, adding it believed most of the cargo was incinerated during the fire.

"The towing of the fire-engulfed X-Press Pearl ship was stopped because of the rear end of the vessel hitting the seabed," navy spokesperson Captain Indika de Silva told Reuters.

The country's air force, which shows the charred shipwreck emitting white smoke as it listed towards the right and began sinking, took the photos.

Many officials are fearing a colossal disaster if the oil leaks into the ocean and the nearby lagoons, endangering marine life and birds.

The navy was preparing to deal with an oil spill after the ship sank, Silva added.

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