Three Injured in Explosion at Shipbreaking Yard in Bangladesh

File image courtesy Jamuna Ship Breakers / Facebook

Published Apr 13, 2021 10:27 PM by The Maritime Executive

Three workers were seriously injured in an explosion at the Jamuna Ship Breakers scrapyard in Chittagong, Bangladesh last weekend, according to The Daily Star. 

On Sunday, the three men were cutting through a pipe near the engine room of a ship undergoing demolition. A spark from the cutting operation ignited oil inside the pipe, resulting in a blast, Bangladesh Metal Workers Federation general secretary Mohammad Ali told The Daily Star. 

The injured men were identified by their first names, Pilot, Samad and Jihad. A spokesman for the Sitakunda police station confirmed the accident. 

South Asian shipbreaking yards are known for a high rate of serious (and often fatal) accidents. At Jamuna Ship Breakers, a worker was killed in a fall during the demolition of the vessel Hanjin Rome in May 2017. One more was killed and two were injured in a blast after cutting on a tank or pipe in February 2018. 

“According to the rules concerned, these types of tanks or pipes should be cut with hacksaws, not with blow torch,” safety inspector Palash Kumar Das of Bangladesh's Department of Inspection for Factories told the Daily Star at the time.

According to data from NGO Shipbreaking Platform, more than 180 workers were killed at Chittagong's ship recycling yards between 2005 and 2017.