Twenty one people lost their lives in a series of explosions aboard an oil tanker which was being dismantled at the Gadani shipbreaking yard in Pakistan, NGO Shipbreaking Platform’s spokesperson told World Maritime News.
Out of the 60 workers who were injured in the accident which occurred yesterday, 15 are in critical condition at the hospital in Karachi, the spokesperson said, adding that several workers are still trapped inside the Floating Production Tanker called ACES (former name – Federal I).
More than 100 workers were inside the 88,122 gross ton ship at the time of the explosion. The fire at the site is still ongoing.
The vessel was sold to the ship breakers by the Indonesian company SINAR MENTARI PRIMA PT. in August and was beached on October 15.
“We are in touch with our member organisations that are on the ground. It is difficult to obtain precise info and data on the accident,” the spokesperson said.
Earlier reports indicated that welding works which were being undertaken on board the ship could have caused the chain of explosions.
NGO Shipbreaking Platform’s spokesperson said that the shipbreaking workers announced a three-day strike while some 10.000 people gathered to protest this morning.
World Maritime News Staff