At least 5 dead as fire breaks out at Gadani shipbreaking yard

Published January 9, 2017
Fire at Gadani shipbreaking yard in Hub. — DawnNews
Fire at Gadani shipbreaking yard in Hub. — DawnNews

At least five people were killed and one other injured when a fire broke out in a ship parked on plot 60 of the Gadani shipbreaking yard in Hub on Monday, police sources said.

The ship belonged to ex-chairman of the Ship-breaking Yard Association, Rizwan Diwan Farooq, police said. Farooq was detained in Hub city after fleeing the shipyard when the fire broke out.

Over 55 labourers were working on the out-of-service LPG ship when the blaze started, police said.

Officials from the environment department said a chemical 'foam' present inside the ship was responsible for the fire.

They said all combustibles need to be removed from a ship before work is started, but the foam was not removed in this case, which signalled neglect.

Police sources pointed out that this was the same ship that caught fire in December last year.

According to the police, rescue workers were still looking for three people; Bashir Mehmood Dani, president of the Ship Workers Union, claimed that the number of missing people is eight.

—DawnNews

Thousands of labourers work in perilous conditions, often for a pittance, at Gadani's shipbreaking yards.

In November 2016, 26 people had been killed and 58 others injured during a series of explosions that occurred during work on an unused oil tanker at the yard.

Fires and accidents are common and the air is polluted, often causing health problems for the workers, who perform the often dangerous work of extracting ferrous and non-ferrous metals, steel pipes and valves, electricity cables, machinery and wood from derelict ships.

There is no government agency to monitor and evaluate the operations at the yard and there is a lack of health and safety standards for the dismantling and recycling of materials and metals.

Opinion

Editorial

Reforming militants
24 Jul, 2024

Reforming militants

Such initiatives have been tried before, in Swat for instance, at centres run by the military as well as NGOs.
IPP debate
24 Jul, 2024

IPP debate

A FIERCE debate blaming the exorbitant electricity prices on expensive power purchase agreements with IPPs has been...
Political vendettas
24 Jul, 2024

Political vendettas

IT seems that the PML-N and PPP need to be reminded again that they are doing themselves a considerable disservice ...
Security concerns
23 Jul, 2024

Security concerns

All stakeholders want what is best for the country and its people; their differing approaches shouldn’t be viewed with such suspicion all the time.
Frankfurt vandalism
23 Jul, 2024

Frankfurt vandalism

THE state needs to seek serious answers from the German authorities regarding the July 20 mob attack targeting...
Stressed cotton economy
23 Jul, 2024

Stressed cotton economy

DECREASING cotton production should be a worry for the government because of its socioeconomic implications. Early...