Published Date: Nov 4, 2016
Deadly Gadani scrapyard FSO blast
A huge blast thought caused by several gas cylinder explosions on board an FSO, beached at Gadani shipbreaking plot number 56, has killed more than 20 workers with many more trapped inside the burning vessel.
More than 60 workers are reported injured. It is feared that the death toll will increase as many workers are in a critical state suffering from severe burns. More workers are missing and reportedly still remain stuck in the ship, 24 hours after the blast, the fire on the vessel was still reported to be burning on Thursday.
“This terrific accident is a painful reminder of the dangerous working conditions at the shipbreaking yards in Gadani. Our thoughts go first and foremost to the victims, to their families and friends,” said Ingvild Jenssen, NGO Shipbreaking Platform policy director.
The 1982-built converted FSO, ‘Federal 1’ , was sold to the Gadani shipbreaker by Jakarta-based PT Sinar Mentari Prima and was used at the Jabung Batanghari terminal owned by the Indonesian government company BPMIGAS and operated by PetroChina. The vessel changed its flag and name to ‘ACES’ just weeks before it reached the beach, the NGO said.
The Pakistan National Trade Union Federation (NTUF) has announced three days of mourning and a strike at all yards. Workers participated in a rally at Gadani to protest against the deplorable working conditions and lack of government support to enforce safety and occupational health laws. The Platform endorses NTUF’s demands that all victims of the FSO explosion must receive adequate treatment for their injuries and that they, or their relatives, must also receive financial compensation for their losses.
“Health and safety must come first. This terrible blast could have been avoided. There is a clear lack of infrastructure and equipment in Gadani to prevent such a deadly accident. Rescue operations are extremely difficult, due to the lack of ambulances and firefighting equipment and because rapid access to the ship and the workers that are still stuck inside is extremely challenging,” said Abid Qaiyum Suleri, executive director of Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Pakistani Platform member organisation.
The NGO Shipbreaking Platform has called for the Gadani beaching yards to be closed and the activities moved off the beach to areas that are under strict control, using alternative and safer methods in docks or along piers. Source: http://www.tankeroperator.com/news/deadly-gadani-scrapyard-fso-blast/8107.aspx