Monday, January 09, 2017

At least five killed in fire at Gadani ship-breaking yard; ship owner arrested

Several workers reported to be missing as same ship catches fire for second time in less than a month


HUB: At least five workers were killed and several were reported to be missing after a ship caught fire at Gadani ship-breaking yard on Monday for the second time in less than a month, rescue sources said.

Following the incident police arrested Rizwan Diwan Farooqi, the owner of the out-of-service LPG ship which caught fire, Deputy Commissioner Lasbela confirmed. Rizwan Diwan Farooqi is also ex-chairman of the Ship-breaking Yard Association.

Although the fire was extinguished, hunt continues for the missing workers. According to rescue sources, more than 50 workers were present on the ship when fire broke out.

Most of the workers have been safely evacuated. The victims' bodies were transferred to Civil Hospital Gadani, rescue sources added.

The same ship had caught fire some weeks ago as well. However, the fire had been extinguished without any loss of life reported.

On November 1 last year, 25 people were killed and at least 58 injured when a ship’s fuel tank at Gadani ship-breaking yard had exploded, resulting in a deadly fire.

Labourers in Gadani often work in poor conditions without basic protective gear.