A massive fire broke out on Nov 8 when work resumed that day on breaking up a floating storage and offloading ship that had blown up a year earlier killing 31 workers and injuring almost 60 at one of the shipbreaking plots on Gadani Beach, Pakistan.
Following the explosion on Nov 1, 2016, the Aces had been left untouched but almost twelve months to the day, the Pakistan Department of Environment gave permission for the continued breaking up of the ship.
After last November’s fire, the NGO Shipbreaking Platform reported: “On the very first day that the breaking commenced, a massive fire broke out again as the oil residues inside the tanker had not been removed. There were no reported fatalities or injuries as a result of the fire.”
On Nov 9. Dr Muhammad Irfan Khan, a member of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform’s board, said: “Clearly, no lessons have been learnt from the series of tragedies that have hit Gadani in the last year. More investments are sorely needed. For the industry to be allowed to continue operating, the authorities need to guarantee the protection of shipbreaking workers and the enforcement of existing environmental regulations.”
The Shipbreaking Platform added: “The appalling working conditions at Gadani are well known, yet European ships are still being sold to Pakistan for breaking up. In the third quarter of 2017 alone, seven ships, five German, one Greek, and one Norwegian, were sold for demolition at Gadani Beach.”