In this quarterly publication, the NGO Shipbreaking Platform informs about the shipbreaking industry in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. Providing an overview of accidents that took place on the beaches of South Asia and recent on-the-ground developments NGO aims to inform the public about the negative impacts of substandard shipbreaking practices.
he accidents are reported by the Platform based on local sources and media reports. The sector suffers from a serious lack of transparency, and it is expected that many accidents go unreported. In Bangladesh, India and Pakistan no data is published by authorities or the shipbreaking industry, which makes it difficult to properly assess the overall scale and impact of the incidents. There is furthermore no official monitoring and recording of occupational diseases of which many more workers suffer, including cancer.
On 10 October, Rashel (27) sustained injuries due to a fall from a round 8-10 feet while working as a fitter man at Ferdous Steel. The ship being dismantled was identified as HARMONIA (IMO 9132947), owned by a Chinese shipping company. Ferdous Steel paid his treatment at the hospital.
On 29 October, Sayrudun (42) suffered burn injuries on his face caused by oil when cutting a pipe while dismantling an unidentified vessel. The accident happened at Prime Trade Corporation during a night shift. The owner paid for three days of treatment. The worker then went back to his home village. On 1 November, Tarek (30) fell from an unidentified ship broken at Chittagong Ship Breaking and Recycling yard and got injured.
On 9 November, an accident at Kabir Group yard – Madambibir injured three workers. Minto (25), Rashal (30) and Ronjit (35) were hit by an iron plate during di smantling operations on the NORTH ENERGY.
Developments in South Asia
ollowing the death of Md. Russell (24) on the 26th of August at a shipbreaking yard in Chattogram, six people were sued over Russell’s death. On 1 October, his father filed a case at the Chattogram Judicial Magistrate Court. The shipbreaking owner, Asaduzzaman Swapan, the contractor, a cutterman, and the Sitakunda police station Officer face charges of murder and concealing the victim’s body. It is claimed that Russell refused to follow orders to swim out to a vessel, which led to a heavy disagreement with the yard owner and the contractor. It is believed that Russel drowned. His body was found on 2 September and his father has accused the yard owner and the contractor of being involved in his son’s death, as well as of making threats against him.
Developments in India
A Committee established by India’s Steel Ministry disqualified the use of shipbreaking steel plates for the production of thermos -mechanical treated (TMT) steel. The Committee includes representatives from MECON (under the Ministry of Steel), NISST (National Institute of Secondary Steel Technology ), Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways, Bureau of Indian Standards, Material Recycling Association of India (MRAI), MSTC Ltd (under the Ministry of Steel), Ship Recycling Industries Association, and Gujarat Maritime Board. Steel samples were collected from three shipbreaking yards in Alang and from different parts of ships used in international and coastal trade.
Developments in Pakistan
The Government of Pakistan is the 23rd country to ratify the Hong Kong Convention. All three major shipbreaking countries using the beaching method, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, have now ratified the Convention which will enter into force in June 2025. The Convention’s entry -into-force provides the opportunity to amend and strengthen the overall weak standards of the Convention. Beaching remains the worst industrial practice for ship recycling and should be phased out. The Hong Kong Convention must also align it self with international environmental law and catch up with developments since its adoption in 2009. Most recently, the UAE adopted a new Ship Recycling Regulation which bans the use of beaching and landing methods , and calls for the use of dry-docks .