Over 200 workers have reportedly died at shipbreaking yards in Chittagong in the last 15 years
A worker died when a heavy plate fell on him while he was working at a shipbreaking yard in Chittagong’s Sitakunda upazila on Thursday night.
The deceased was identified as Ripon Mia, 37.
According to the police, the incident occurred at Tasin Steel Ltd in the Baro Awlia area around 10pm.
Sitakunda police station Officer-in-Charge Abul Kalam Azad said: “Critically injured, the worker was rushed to Chittagong Medical College Hospital (CMCH), where he succumbed to his injuries.”
He added that the body was sent to the hospital morgue for an autopsy.
“Till now, nobody has filed a complaint in connection with the workplace casualty,” he further said.
Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments Inspector (Health) Shuvongkor Dutt told Dhaka Tribune the shipbreaking yard is owned by Didarul Alam, lawmaker of Chittagong 4 constituency.
“We will inspect the yard on Saturday to find the cause of the accident,” he said.
According to Young Power in Social Action (YPSA), an NGO working to defend workers’ rights and the environment, more than 200 workers have died at shipbreaking yards in Chittagong in the last 15 years.
Inhaling dangerous substances such as carbon dioxide and falling off of vessels without safety harnesses are the major causes of deaths in the shipbreaking industry. Other causes of workplace casualties include workers being crushed under falling steel beams and heavy plates, exploding cylinders, boilers and generators, and electrical shocks.
According to Bangladesh Ship Breakers and Recyclers Association, only 60-70 out of 150 shipbreaking and recycling yards in Chittagong are now in operation on the 25km strip of Sitakunda upazila in the district.