February 17, 2006
ALANG: At least nine people were injured when a French
ship caught fire while being dismantled at the ship-breaking
yard here on Friday.
As fate would have it, the accident happened on a day when
the Supreme Court directed the Central government to ensure
a safer working environment for the ship-breakers, in the
wake of the controversy over 'Le Clemenceau'.
The 19,000-tonne French passenger vessel 'Chinese Sea Discoverer'
caught fire at 1.30 pm and several persons who were trapped
inside the ship were rescued by 6.30 pm.
The fire reportedly started in the engine room and rescue
work by fire-brigade personnel and workers from nearby plots
were hampered because of high tide as the ship was beached
300 feet away from the shore.
The workers' injuries were not serious in nature and all
the victims were discharged by evening. Some labourers jumped
from the ship and managed to swim to safety, said sources.
According to Haresh Parmar, secretary of Alang Ship Breaking
Yard Association, the ship is owned by Mahavir Indecto Melt
Pvt Ltd situated on Plot No V-5. The owner of the company,
Kishore Bansal, could not be contacted