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One Killed, Three Wounded in Shipbreaking Yard Explosion

Chittagong
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Published Jun 21, 2021 9:31 PM by The Maritime Executive

[Brief] One worker was killed and three others were injured when a boiler exploded at the SN Corporation yard in Chattogram, Bangladesh on Saturday, according to local accounts.

At about 1400 hours Saturday afternoon, the workers were dismantling a ship using cutting torches when a boiler exploded. Four victims were taken to a nearby hospital; one torch operator, identified as Ripon Chakma, was pronounced dead. The remaining three are in critical condition, according to New Age Bangladesh. Some of the yard's workers believe the toll was higher than officially reported, the outlet reported.

A similar explosion occurred at Jamuna Shipbreakers in Chattogram on April 11. While workers were cutting a pipe above the engine room on an unnamed vessel, an explosion occurred, leaving three individuals with burn injuries. The head of the Bangladesh Metal Workers Federation, Mohammad Ali, told The Daily Star that there was still oil inside the pipe when the workers began cutting. 

According to NGO Shipbreaking Platform, severe accidents at South Asian shipbreaking yards have been common for decades, and the organization reported several incidents in Bangladesh in the first quarter. On March 11, two individuals were severely burnt in an explosion during shipbreaking operations at SN Corporation. The week before, one worker was hit by a falling steel plate and killed at TR Shipbreaking. On February 6, a worker sustained burns covering 45 percent of his body during a pipe-cutting operation at NR Shipyard, and he succumbed to his wounds after five days in the hospital.