6 Killed in Explosion at Alang Shipbreaking Yard

File photo of an Alang shipbreaking facility.

An explosion on board a beached tanker in Alang, India has killed 6 workers and injured one other.

The fire broke out at approximately 12.45 pm on Saturday on the 163-meter MT Union Brave at the Alang-Sosiya Ship Recycling Yard, according to an Indian news site.

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.

Rescue and recovery efforts were mostly carried out by other workers in the yard who had to cut open more parts of the ship to reach their trapped co-workers. Five workers were pronounced dead at the scene while two others were brought to nearby hospitals for treatment. One of the injured later died.

“It appears the workers may have used blow-torches instead of unscrewing the nuts and bolts with spanners to take the compartments apart, which is the safe way to do it,” said a yard official.

MT Union Brave was recently purchased by Kiran Ship Breaking Co. for recycling.