Death toll after explosion at Pakistani Shipbreaker rose

Fire in ship-breaking yard in GaddaniThe death toll after explosions and fire at at Gadani ship-breaking yard in Pakistan rose to 20 people, while an unknown number of workers are still missing. The firefighters, Pakistani Navy and the Coastguard continue to look for the missing people, as the fire is burning on several spots. The firemen continue firefighting by pouring water over the flames, but cannot open route to compartments were were presumed to have people due to high temperature of the steel. At least 58 people were injured and hospitalized. At the scene of the accident there are a lot of ambulances, fire machines and salvage tugs, which together are trying to find more rescuers inside the wreck.

The tanker Aced had arrived at Gadani ship-breaking yard on October 22, being purchased by local company Ghafoor. The demolition of the vessel started on November 1. At least 300 people were recruited to carry out the job and large part of them were on board during the first explosions. According to the local authorities the safety rules were not followed inside the ship-breaking yard, as the compartments were not checked for hazardous and inflammable materials before start of dismantling. The decommissioning activities at the Gadani shipyard have been prohibited until the safety procedures are verified.

The police started investigation for the accident and already arrested the owner of the company Ghafoor, as well as the contractor who hired the workers required for the demolition. The process against the responsible people for the accident will start after the investigation completes, but according to the local prosecutors the both companies, as well as Gadani ship-breaking yard had violated the safety rules for workers during the dismantling operations.

The incident comes after the environmental and human rights labor groups were long calling on the shipping industry to stop sending end-of-life vessels to southeast Asian shipbreaking yards, where the working conditions are poor and the controversial practice of beaching is still used to dismantle ships within the tidal zone.

More about the accident:
Fire at Gadani ship-breaking yard was extinguished [05/11]
At least 10 killed and 50 injured after explosion and fire at Gadani ship-breaking yard in Pakistan [01/11]