Probe team inspects ship loaded with dangerous chemicals at Gadani

HUB: A team of Balochistan’s Environment Protection Department inspecting the ship.—PPI
HUB: A team of Balochistan’s Environment Protection Department inspecting the ship.—PPI

QUETTA: A two-member team headed by Technical Director of the Balochistan’s Environment Protection Department Mohammad Khan Utimankhail on Sunday examined the ship which reached the ship-breaking yard at Gadani despite a warning from Interpol that it contained dangerous chemicals.

The team collected samples of the chemicals from the ship for sending them to the government laboratories for tests.

“We are sending samples to the laboratories of the Ministry of Science and Technology for testing,” Deputy Director of the Balochistan Environment Protection Department Abdul Wali Khilji said, adding that the plot where the ship was anchored had already been sealed.

Official sources denied the reports about granting permission to the owners of the ship for scrapping it. “No agency has granted permission for dismantling the ship anchored at the ship-breaking yard,” Deputy Director of the Balochistan Environment Department, Hub, Imran Saeed Kakar told Dawn.

He said results of the tests on samples he had sent to three private laboratories in Karachi were yet to be received.

He said a team headed by the Lasbela deputy commissioner was also conducting a probe into how the ship containing dangerous chemicals mixed with mercury had reached the Gadani Ship-breaking Yard. He said nobody was allowed to visit the ship without permission.

Official sources said that a committee composed of officials of the Pakistan Maritimes Security Agency, Federal Inv­estigation Agency, Environ­ment Protection Agency and other departments concerned would be visiting Gadani to investigate the anchoring of ship loaded with dangerous chemicals.

Published in Dawn, May 31st, 2021

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