Protests ring out at deadly Gadani

Hundreds of workers protested yesterday at the Gadani shipbreaking site in Pakistan, demanding firm action be taken to improve conditions at one of the most dangerous shipping locations in the world.

Pakistan’s main shipbreaking area suffered another blaze inside a beached tanker, which injured seven workers on Sunday.

Officials had only recently readmitted tankers to be scrapped following a spate of accidents in Gadani, most notably a massive fire two years ago, which started from a welder’s spark, and killed 23 people.

Accidents at Gadani have continued ever since, with three fires reported in the last two months alone. Government officials have vowed to improve conditions but there has been no sign of safety getting better.

“Health and safety is a right, not a privilege,” one of the workers at yesterday’s union-organised protest shouted.


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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