18 November 2011

Shipbreaking workers suffer burns at Mumbai yard:

3 shipbreaking workers suffer severe burns in a fire accident at Mumbai shipbreaking yard on November 14, 2011

INDIA: Workers at the Mumbai shipbreaking yard faced yet another fire accident on November 14 in which 3 workers suffered 40% burn injury. The incident took place at about 4.00 PM Monday as 3 workers, Ram Saroj 35, Sunil Rai 33 and Bijay Jena 28 were engaged in breaking the engine room of the ship M V Khalijia III at Lakri Bundar Plot No 8. The ill fated ship belongs to the employer Pratap Bohra, who is also the office bearer of Indian Steel Scrap and Shipbreakers' Association.

Injured workers were immediately taken to Sairaj Hospital in Sewri and workers' condition is said to be serious. All injured are migrant workers from Uttar Pradesh and Orissa and they worked under labour contractor Dharmaraj & Co. Office bearers of Mumbai Port Trust and Dock General Employees' Union (MPTDGEU) immediately rushed to the spot and informed the police about the incident. The police has filed a First Information Report and launched an inquiry into the accident.

This accident is yet another painful reminder of harsh working conditions and poor occupational health and safety measures at Mumbai shipbreaking yards. We will once again take the issue to the concerned authorities to improve the working conditions and to get due compensation for victims and their families, said VV Rane, Secretary of MPTDGEU.

Source: International Metalworkers’ Federation (IMF). By G. Manicandan. 17 November 2011

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