Gadani’s shipbreaking plot no. 54 was sealed off on November 8 after a fire broke out on-board the ship ACES again, according to the NGO Shipbeaking Platform.
No workers got caught in the flames of the fire, which occurred on the same floating oil production tanker that blew up on November 1, 2016. Last year’s incident took the lives of 31 workers and left at least another 58 workers seriously injured.
“After having been left untouched and unbroken in the same yard since last year’s catastrophic explosion, the Pakistan Department of Environment gave permission last week for the continued breaking of the ACES. Shockingly, on the very first day that the breaking commenced, a massive fire broke out again as the oil residues inside the tanker had not been removed,” the Platform said.
“Clearly, no lessons have been learnt from the series of tragedies that have hit Gadani in the last year,” Muhammad Irfan Khan, member of the NGO Shipbeaking Platform’s Board, added.
Following the major blast on November 1, 2016, dubbed the worst tragedy in shipbreaking history and caused by several gas cylinder explosions, workers have rallied in Gadani to protest against the working conditions and the lack of Government support in enforcing safety and occupational health laws.
After the latest incident, the Deputy Commissioner of Hub District, Mangal, set up an inquiry committee to look into to the EPA approval to resume breaking of the ACES and sealed the shipbreaking yard where it is beached.