Final Gadani fire death toll still unknown

24 days have passed since the terrible explosion that ripped through a beached FSO at Pakistan’s ship recycling area of Gadani, but the government is still unable to announce a final death toll. Families with unaccounted workers from the yard have spent the past three weeks in a desperate search, visiting hospitals and morgues with no luck. The current death toll stands at 28, but it is set to rise.

“The government has not taken any action against the people actually responsible for this devastating tragedy,” Nasir Mansoor, the National Trade Union Federation deputy secretary general, said yesterday at a meeting at the Karachi Press Club.

Mansoor demanded the government also reveal more findings from their investigation into the accident.
Gadani remains closed as investigations continue.

The tragic Gadani earlier this month took place due to smuggling of oil, an initial report by the ministry for shipping and ports has revealed. A welder was working on a gas cylinder on the beached ship when the explosion occurred – a vicious four-day fire then ensued. The report showed the dire conditions for workers at Pakistan’s main recycling area as well as the fact that Gadani has become a hub for the smuggling of foreign goods.


Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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