17 dead in explosions at Gadani shipbreaking yard

Published November 1, 2016
People look at a ship on fire following an explosion in Gadani. —AP
People look at a ship on fire following an explosion in Gadani. —AP

17 people were killed and 58 others injured during a series of explosions that occurred during work on an unused oil tanker in the Gadani shipbreaking yard on Tuesday.

“A gas cylinder explosion caused a huge fire in the ship which was being dismantled,” Balochistan home secretary Akbar Harifal told AFP, ruling out a deliberate attack.

According to sources, the vessel had not fully been drained of oil when the dismantling work was undertaken. As a result, an explosion ripped through the oil tanker at about 9am.

Rescue officials said they have recovered 17 bodies so far, while government officials confirmed death of 16 people.

"We have a confirmed reports of at least 16 people dead at the shipyard," said Deputy Commissioner Lasbela Zulfiqar Ali Shah.

The Deputy superintendent police Hub confirmed the death toll to DawnNews and added that workers said over 100 people were working on the ship at the time.

Blasts at Gadani shipbreaking yard.

The whereabouts of at least 30 other workers remain unknown. Some workers remain trapped inside the ship, whereas others who were able to exit the ship from above threw themselves into the sea, DawnNews reported.

Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri has instructed the district administration to speed up efforts for injured workers.

The Provincial Disaster Management Authority and the National Disaster Management Authority are conducting a joint rescue operation.

Rescue workers are limited in the area, DawnNews reported, adding that only a single fire engine present at the scene has been unsuccessful in putting out the fire.

Industrial accidents are common in Pakistan, with workplaces often forgoing basic safety measures and equipment in the absence of legislation to protect labourers.

A devastating fire at a textile factory in Karachi killed 255 people in 2012.

Opinion

Paterfamilias?

Paterfamilias?

Through a series of judgements, SC made CJP’s recommendations for judicial appointments virtually binding on president.

Editorial

Economic restructuring
Updated 06 Aug, 2022

Economic restructuring

All the policies and tough decisions implemented by the PML-N-led ruling coalition have so far translated to firefighting.
Kashmir’s plight
06 Aug, 2022

Kashmir’s plight

THREE years after the BJP-led government in New Delhi made its ill-advised move to do away with the autonomous...
Extinction risks
06 Aug, 2022

Extinction risks

WE may be at risk of losing our natural treasures before even getting a chance to truly appreciate them. According ...
Gutting NAB
Updated 05 Aug, 2022

Gutting NAB

Recent changes to NAB's governing laws go well beyond an attempt to reform the organisation.
Plastic menace
05 Aug, 2022

Plastic menace

WHILE plastic waste poses a major threat to the environment and human health, and authorities have over the years...
Commonwealth triumph
05 Aug, 2022

Commonwealth triumph

IT took five days but given the rousing manner in which it happened it was worth the wait. Finally, Pakistan could...