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Two Dead after Explosion at Chittagong Shipbreaking Yard
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Two Dead after Explosion at Chittagong Shipbreaking Yard

May 16 ------ Two workers died and several others have been injured in an explosion at a Chittagong shipbreaking yard in Bangladesh.  The incident occurred in the morning hours of May 15, 2019, while the workers were dismantling a yet-unidentified ship in Sitakunda Upazila, United News of Bangladesh (UNB) reported.  “Six workers sustained burn injuries when the fire broke out at the pump room of a scrap ship around 8:30am,” Zahirul Islam from Chittagong Medical College Hospital (CMCH) police camp was cited by UNB as saying.  He added that the six injured men were brought to the hospital where one of them was declared dead. The deceased man reportedly worked for Premier Trade Corporation and Mahinur Ship Recycling Yard. 

Later on May 15, another body was recovered, a spokesperson of NGO Shipbreaking Platform confirmed to World Maritime News.  The NGO added that one of the five injured workers is in critical conditions.  The incident follows the one in February this year which claimed the lives of two workers in Chittagong. The two men were working at Shagorika Ship Breaking Yard when a fire broke out on a tanker that was being dismantled.  Despite dire conditions at a number of beaching yards in South Asia, shipowners continue to sell their vessels there in order to get higher prices for their vessels. 

In 2018, a total of 744 large ocean-going commercial vessels were sold to the scrap yards. Out of these, 518 were broken down on South Asia beaches, accounting for a record-breaking 90.4% of the gross tonnage dismantled globally, according to data provided by NGO Shipbreaking Platform.