GADANI: A mysterious series of explosions during work on an unused oil tanker, anchored in the Gadani ship yard, killed at least 14 people and injured over 45 others on Tuesday. According to police, around eight explosions have occurred in the oil tanker due to gas welding work.
The Balochistan Provincial Disaster Management Authority and the National Disaster Management Authority conducted a joint rescue operation and the fire on the ship was controlled till the late evening. Around 50 workers trapped on the ship were later rescued. Some workers remain trapped inside the ship, whereas others who were able to exit the ship from above threw themselves into the sea, according to the eyewitnesses.
The Deputy Superintendent police confirmed the death toll to Daily Times and added that workers said over 150 people were working on the ship at the time. The Gadani Ship Yard is spread over 10 km long beachfront at Gadani, Balochistan, about 55 kilometres northwest of Karachi. It is one of the biggest ship breaking sites in the world.
Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER) has expressed shock and grief over the death of the workers and demanded the provincial government of Balochistan ensure provision of proper health and safety facilities to all workers.
In a statement here on Tuesday, PILER Executive Director Karamat Ali lamented the terrible working conditions for the workers at the ship breaking yard in Gadani town and said that despite various accidents in the past, no measure for provision of health and safety related arrangements had been made.
PILER has demanded the provincial government ensure provision of all types of emergency, relief and medical services at the yard on a permanent basis.
Taking serious notice of explosion, Chief Minister Balochistan Nawab Sanaullah Khan. Zehri Tuesday directed authorities concerned to submit a report to him on a priority basis. He ordered all available health care to be provided to the injured.