A seventh shipbreaker has died as the result of an explosion on board a beached tanker at an Alang shipbreaking yard earlier this month.
gCaptain reported on October 8 that six workers were killed and one was injured after a fire broke out on the 163-meter MT Union Brave at the Alang-Sosiya Ship Recycling Yard. The Times of India now reports that the injured worker, Ram Singh Sahai, died as a result of his injuries while receiving treatment at a private hospital in Bhavnagar.
Reports indicate that the fire broke out after workers used blow torches to cut open a compartment near the pump-room toward the aft end of the ship.
Just days after the explosion in Alang, the European Commission said it was considering a proposal to legalize the export of toxic, end-of-life ships to developing countries, a practice that has been forbidden in Europe since January of 1997. The proposal would exempt most ships from the the Basel Convention which bans hazardous waste exports to the world’s poorest countries. Some say, however, that the policy would put shipbreakers in even greater danger and harm the local ecosystem with the introduction of toxic material.