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Bangladesh Shipbreaking Yard Explosion Kills Two

Pic: NGO Shipbreaking Platform

Shailaja A. Lakshmi

Two yard workers have died and five others were severely injured yesterday (May 15) in a major explosion on board beached vessel at a shipbreaking yard in Chittagong, Bangladesh, said the NGO Shipbreaking Platform.

At around 8:30 AM, a fire broke out on board the vessel BUNGA KELANA 4, beached at Mahinur Ship Breaking yard, also known as Premium Trade Corporation. The flames spread from abandoned waste oil located close to the engine room where workers were torch-cutting steel parts.

Mohammod Rubel, 25 years old cutter man, lost his life in the accident. He died on his way to the hospital. Hamidul Islam's dead body was found on the ship several hours after the explosion. Five other workers, aged 19-30, suffered severe burn injuries and are now being treated at the Chattogram Medical College Hospital. The condition of one of them is extremely critical. Local sources report that several workers might still be missing.

"The conditions at Mahinur Ship Breaking are shocking and unfortunately telling of the overall appalling working conditions at the Bangladeshi shipbreaking yards. Workers are exposed to enormous risks because there is no infrastructure available on the beach to ensure safe working conditions and rapid emergency response," said Ingvild Jenssen - Executive Director and Founder - NGO Shipbreaking Platform.

The BUNGA KELANA 4 was beached at Mahinur Ship Breaking six months ago. It was owned by Malaysian shipping company AET Tankers, a wholly owned subsidiary of MISC, the leading Malaysian energy logistics company listed on the Malaysia stock exchange.

In 2018, AET Tankers sold four vessels for scrapping on the beaches of South Asia. Three ended up in Bangladesh; one was beached in India.

May 15, 2019

 

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