Five workers have died and one has been injured during a fire at a shipbreaking yard in Gadani, Pakistan.
The fire broke out on-board a beached liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tanker, named Gaz Fountain, the last beneficial owner of which was Naftomar, a Greek shipping line.
A ‘chemical foam’ present in the vessel is believed to have caused the fire at yard number 60, owned by Pakistan Ship Breakers’ Association’s former president Rizwan Diwan Farooq, reported The Dawn.
The vessel had been involved in a separate fire last month, during which no workers were harmed.
Shipbreaking Platform executive director Patrizia Heidegger said: “Less than three months after the worst explosion in the history of shipbreaking shook Gadani, five more men are dead.
“We wonder how many lives must be lost before the government cracks down on the appalling working conditions.
“It is shameful for both the ship owner, Naftomar, and the cash buyer to benefit from a situation in which workers’ lives are risked to maximise profits. We ask ship owners to ensure that their end-of-life ships are dismantled in clean and safe ship recycling facilities off the beach.”
Shipbreaking Platform has also claimed that cash buyers sell old ships to yards with horrible accident records.
In November 2016, around 27 workers were killed and 58 were injured in an oil tanker explosion at the Gadani shipyard.
Image: A shipbreaking yard in Gadani, Pakistan. Photo: courtesy of Lukasz Wypior.