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193 Ships Sold for Demolition During A2 2029 - NGO Shipbreaking

Logistic News - Published on Wed, 10 Jul 2019

Image Source: hellenicshippingnews.com
NGO Shipbreaking Platform announced that there were a total of 193 ships broken in the Q2 2019. Of these, 146 ships were sold to the infamous scrapping beaches of South Asia, where working conditions are known to be dire and breaking practices cause irreparable damage to the coastal environment. Between April and June, Platform sources recorded three accidents that killed at least five workers on the beach of Chittagong, Bangladesh, bringing the total death-toll of the shipbreaking industry this year to at least eight workers.

In the early morning of 15 May, a loud blast shook the Chittagong shipbreaking area. A fire broke out on board the vessel BUNGA KELANA 4, beached at Mahinur Ship Breaking yard, also known as Premium Trade Corporation. Video footage of the attempts to rescue workers showed extremely rudimentary conditions and a total lack of appropriate emergency response and equipment. Cutter men Mohammod Rubel, Hamidul Islam and Md Jolil lost their lives in the accident. Four other workers suffered severe burn injuries. Platform member organisation OSHE reports that the death of another worker, Tara Miya, was covered up in the same yard just a few days before the tragic event. On 20 May, Md Manik died when electrocuted at Bathiari Steel. He had been tasked with the illegal construction of barge.

At least another six workers were severely injured at the Bangladeshi shipbreaking yards last quarter. Two were injured when a fire broke out on the bulk carrier COMPROMISE on 28 May. According to maritime databases and local sources, the ship was sold by South Korean SK Shipping to HM Steel shipbreaking yard in Chittagong.

Accident records in Gadani, Pakistan and Alang, India, are extremely difficult to obtain. The local government in Alang does not publish any official statistics, and it systematically refuses to provide civil society organisations and independent journalists access to the yards. Recently stopped by the Gujarat Maritime Board, journalists from French public television were forced to hand over their camera so their footage could be deleted. Part of their video material, however, managed to see the light of day and was aired in June. It effectively reveals the poor working and environmental conditions that the local authorities in Alang seek to hide.

In Bangladesh, it was revealed that the shipbreaking company BBC Ship Breaking had been fraudulently given the permission by local authorities to wipe out a protected mangrove forest in order to establish a new yard. Following the filing of a complaint by Platform member organisation BELA, the High Court imposed a six months’ stay on the lease contract and have asked the local authorities to explain why they blatantly ignore national forest protection laws. In 2009, 14.000 mangrove trees were illegally cut to expand the dirty and dangerous shipbreaking activities in Chittagong. Despite a clear order by the High Court in 2010, none of these trees have been replanted.

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Posted By : Mohan Sharma on Wed, 10 Jul 2019
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