At least five workers have been killed after a fire broke out at a Gadani ship-breaking yard on Monday (January 9 2017).
This is the second incident in less than a month, with the same ship catching fire just a few weeks ago. Fortunately there were no fatalities recorded on that occasion.
According to the police officials, More than 100 workers were present on the ship when the fire broke out on the ship that was parked on Plot 60. 70 workers have been rescued from life rafting boats. Operations are still underway to locate missing workers.
This is the latest in a string of hazardous accidents for Pakistan’s ship breaking yards. The ship yard was only reopened last month (December 2016), after the Pakistan Ship Breakers Association (PSBA) appealed to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to allow shipbreaking activities in Gadani to resume after a fire left at least 26 workers dead and many more injured.
Fires and work-related accidents are becoming a constant occurrence in Gadani’s ship yards, with many issues arising from high levels of air pollution, unsatisfactory safety regulations and exposure to harmful substances.
There is currently no government agency to monitor and evaluate the operations at the yard. This means there is significant absence of suitable health and safety standards for the dismantling and recycling of ships.