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2 Workers Die at Alang Ship Breaking Yard

Priya Blue yard in Alang, India - © Go Green Go India, 2018. Pic: NGO Shipbreaking Platform

Shailaja A. Lakshmi

Two workers recently died on the shipbreaking beach of Alang, India. Two separate accidents took place at well-known scrapping yards that have applied to be included in the EU list of approved ship recycling facilities.

On July 29, 50 years old Subash Vishwakarma lost his life at Priya Blue yard - Plot V1. He was working on a ship when a metal plate fell on his head. He was transferred to the nearest hospital in bad condition and pronounced dead at arrival.

On September 3, due to an explosion during cutting operations, one worker lost his life and one got severely injured at Shree Ram yard - Plot 78/81. Fellow workers that witnessed the tragic event were unwilling to share information with journalists. The accident is under police investigation.

NGO Shipbreaking Platform, at least 14 workers lost their life at the Indian Alang shipbreaking yards last year.

The exact number of fatalities is not available as local authorities do not share information - serious injuries are moreover rarely recorded, and occupational diseases, such as cancer, respiratory and skin diseases, are not documented at all.

The negative environmental impacts of the scrapping activities in Alang are now under scrutiny also in India. In August, the Indian Courts directed an environmental audit of the shipbreaking activities in Alang with a specific focus on the impacts of the beaching method.

Operating a heavy and hazardous industry on a tidal mudflat would never be allowed in the largest ship owning countries, including the EU.

Sep 10, 2019

 

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