Posted on October 19, 2018 by Ilias Kiritsis
9 injuries and over 24 deaths during the first 3 quarters of 2018 in beaching yards in South Asia, according to data from NGO sources.
Over the summer, three workers died while working at a beaching yard in Alang, India.
On August 27th, a worker lost his life while working at the Shri Gaitam Ship Breaking yard located in Alang. A few days later, two workers died while working at the Honey Ship Breaking yard, owned by the RKB group, also located in Alang, according to the NGO quarterly report.
The NGO report reads: “While cutting the cruise ship Ocean Gala, formerly known as MS Scandinavia and MS Island Escape, they both fell and died on the spot. In 2018, after spending several months laid up in Dubai Khalifa, the Ocean Gala sailed to Alang, where it was beached on April 4”.
But the beaching yards in Alang aren't only the culprit when it comes to poor safety and working conditions.
Last Sunday, a tanker caught on fire in the beaching yards in Gadani, Pakistan, injuring seven workers, two of which are reported to be in critical condition.
In July, a fire broke out on the German-owned tanker ADA, breached at plot 116 in Gadani, trapping four people inside the hull, but thankfully the rescue team managed to successfully evacuate the workers.
These incidents follow the Pakistani Government’s decision to lift an 18-month ban on tanker demolition. The ban was enacted following a series of deadly accidents that took the lives of several workers.
Back in November 2016, the FPSO Aces that was beached in Gadani, exploded and burst on fire during demolition, wounding 56 and killing 26 more. A second fire occurred on the very same ship a year later, on the first day that work recommenced on the vessel.
The conditions in Gadani to the day, remain in breach of decent working and environmental standards and yet European ships are still being sold to Pakistan for breaking on a consistent basis.