Fire Fight

June 3, 2013 (LBO) – A fire at a general cargo warehouse at Sri Lanka’s Colombo Port which resulted in about 600 million rupees of damage appeared to have been caused by falsely declared dangerous chemicals, officials said. Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman Priyath Wickrama said 461 customers had given information about the cargo imported and about their cargo which was valued at 556 million rupees and about 131 had so far said they had some form of insurance cover.

The damaged warehouse was over 20 years old and was scheduled to be modernized, and had a residual value of about 40 million rupees, he said. Its replacement cost may be about a 100 million rupees, Wickrama said.

Though the port expects all customers to have insurance and the port law does not provide for damages to be paid some relief will be provided for those who did not have insurance, he said.

All customers whose goods were damaged would have port fees waived and would be allowed to import a similar volume of cargo free of charge in the future.

The fire appeared to have been caused by dangerous chemicals which had been falsely declared as general cargo, Port minister Rohitha Abegunawardhana said.

Wickaema said the customer would be