The accident took place when the workers were working in the engine room of a scrap vessel
Two workers have died and two others were injured after inhaling toxic gas at a shipbreaking yard in Chittagong’s Sitakunda upazila on Tuesday.
The accident took place around noon at Khawaja Shipbreaking Ltd, owned by Kabir Steel Re-Rolling Mills (KSRM).
The deceased workers were identified as Niranjan Das, 48, and his younger brother Sumon Das, 45.
According to the police and the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE), the accident took place when the workers were working in the engine room of a scrap vessel.
Sitakunda police station Officer-in-Charge Firoz Hossain Molla confirmed that the workers died on the spot when toxic gas filled up the engine room.
The bodies have been sent to Chittagong Medical College Hospital for autopsy, the OC said.
Shubhankar Datta, inspector (Health) of DIFE, told Dhaka Tribune they would visit the shipbreaking yard to investigate the incident.
According to the NGO Shipbreaking Platform, a Belgium based advocacy organization, as many as 24 workers died on the job in Chittagong, making 2019 the worst year for Bangladeshi yards in terms of fatalities since 2010. At least another 34 workers were badly injured.
According to an International Labour Organization (ILO) publication, ship-breaking has become a major occupational and environmental health problem in the world.
It is amongst the most dangerous of occupations, with unacceptably high levels of fatalities, injuries, and work-related diseases.
Ship-breaking is a difficult process due to the structural complexity of ships, and generates many environmental, safety, and health hazards. It is done largely by the private sector and is rarely subject to safety controls or inspection.
It also gives limited access to health services and barely adequate housing, welfare, and sanitary facilities for workers, further exacerbating their plight, the publication points out.