Pakistan: Explosion at ship-breaking yard kills at least 12

Firefighters from Karachi and from the air force and navy were attempting to put out the blaze in the tank but they lacked the 'foam required to douse it', a representative of the National Trade Union Federation of Pakistan Nasir Mansoor said. Photograph:( Reuters )

Islamabad, Pakistan Nov 01, 2016, 06.49 PM (IST)

A blast at a ship-breaking yard in Pakistan killed at least 12 workers and injured more than 50 on Tuesday.

The blast ripped through an oil tanker and trapped people inside the vessel, local officials said, news agency Reuters reported.

The vessel moored in Gaddani village caught fire, the leader of a ship-breaking workers union said, Reuters reported. 

"Things are really bad here," union president Basheer Mehmoodani told Reuters by telephone. "There's an unclear number of workers said to be trapped in the burning ship."

A representative of the National Trade Union Federation of Pakistan Nasir Mansoor said the explosion caused metal pieces to fly up to two kilometres away. The blast occurred in the fuel tank of the ship, he said. Firefighters from Karachi and from the air force and navy were attempting to put out the blaze on the tank but they lacked the "foam required to douse it", Mansoor added.

Labourers in Gaddani often work in poor conditions without basic protective gear, Reuters said.

(With inputs from Reuters)

  • delete