On Nov 1, 21 people died in a series of explosions on an 88,122gt floating production tanker which was being dismantled at the Gadani shipbreaking yard in Pakistan, according to the NGO Shipbreaking Platform, of the Netherlands.
Of the 60 workers who were injured, 15 were in critical condition at the hospital in Karachi. At the time of the explosions and fires, more than 100 workers were inside the Aces, several of them being trapped.
The Indonesian vessel was sold to the shipbreakers last August and was beached on Oct 15. The NGO Shipbreaking Platform said that about 90 ships were dismantled last October, 40 ships in India, 15 in Bangladesh, 15 in China, 10 in Pakistan and 10 in Turkey.
Due to the overcapacity in the shipping industry, last year may have been the busiest year on record in ship demolition as the total amount of scrapped tonnage is likely to reach 40mn dwt, compared to 30mn dwt in 2015, according to the Baltic & International Maritime Council (BIMCO). Industry experts said the driving force behind the increased number of scrapped tonnage is the price difference between clean and safe recycling and the worst yards in South Asia.