Death toll in Gadani ship-breaking yard blast rises to 18

02 Nov, 2016 11:50 am

KARACHI (92 News) – The death toll from an explosion and fire at Gaddani ship-breaking yard reached at least 18 while around 60 others injured on Wednesday.

Firefighters are still attempting to put out the blaze as the firefighters had to wait for the fire to die out “as they lack the foam required douse it.

Earlier, an oil tank exploded while workers were dismantling an old ship killing at least 18 workers, while around 60 of laborers sustained injuries after the blast in the coastal town of Gadani. Several other workers jumped overboard into the sea as the fire raged.

The leader of a ship-breaking workers union said fire had engulfed the vessel moored in Gaddani. “Things are really bad here,” union president Basheer Mehmoodani told Reuters by telephone. “There’s an unclear number of workers said to be trapped in the burning ship.”

President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif have expressed deep grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives in the explosion.

Rescue teams rushed the bodies and injured people to Karachi and nearby Balochistan hospital for medical assistance.

Prime Minister in his condolence message prayed for eternal peace of the departed souls and grant of courage to the bereaved families to bear this irreparable loss.

The Prime Minister directed to extend best possible medical treatment to the injured. He also directed the relevant authorities to carry out an inquiry into the incident.

Gadani is one of the world’s largest ship breaking yards and was established in the 1970s. Laborers are often injured while breaking ships there, mainly due to poor safety measures.

The location is the world’s third-largest ship-breaking yard and is located across a 10km beachfront in Gadani, about 50km northwest of Karachi.

An average of 100 ships is torn down in Gadani every year producing around one million tons of steel sold mostly domestically to the construction sector in Pakistan.

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