Lessons have yet to be learnt from multiple fire incidents at Pakistan’s Gadani shipbreaking yard over the past year.
A massive fire broke out onboard floating oil production tanker Aces at Gadani on Wednesday following an explosion and subsequent fire onboard the same ship November last year, killing 31 workers.
According to NGO Shipbreaking Platform, after having been left untouched and unbroken in the yard since last year’s catastrophic explosion, the Pakistan Department of Environment gave permission last week for breaking of the ship to recommence only for a massive fire broke out again on the very first day.
The fire has been extinguished and there have been no causalities reported so far, while the site has again been sealed off.
“Clearly, no lessons have been learnt from the series of tragedies that have hit Gadani in the last year”, says Dr Muhammad Irfan Khan, member of the NGO Shipbeaking Platform’s Board.
“More investments are sorely needed to ensure institutional capacity build-up. For the industry to be allowed to continue operating in Pakistan, authorities need to guarantee the protection of shipbreaking workers and the enforcement of existing environmental regulations,” he added.
Since the explosion on the tanker in November last year, there have been a further two fires at the yard.