MV Thermopylae Sierra before it sank.
The Cypress flagged Bulk Carrier MV Thermopylae Sierra has sunk "very close" to the shores of Panadura, Sri Lanka raising concerns of potential environmental harm, China's Xinhua news agency has reported.
The vessel has been detained in Sri Lankan waters by court order since a 2009 dispute involving the cargo and its crew.
Engineers onboard the vessel, which Ship & Bunker understands is owned by Greece's Thesarco Shipping, had warned some of the cargo still on the vessel could harm marine life in the area if it sank.
Jagath Gunasekera, Marine Environment Protection Authority, Sri Lanka
There was some 350 tonnes of oil on the ship but most of it was removed
The Sri Lankan Marine Environment Protection Authority said that most of the oil from the ship had been removed before the vessel.
"There was some 350 tonnes of oil on the ship but most of it was removed and now there is less than 75 tonnes on board. A contingency plan is now underway to face whatever environmental impact even that little oil may cause once it begins to surface," Jagath Gunasekera of the Marine Environment Protection Authority told Xinhua.
The vessel had been abandoned by its crew after they said they had not been given food or other basic facilities.
The ship reportedly started to deteriorate due to lack of maintenance, and sank after it started taking in water.
The court case over the vessel continues in Sri Lanka.