Five persons were killed and at least 10 injured after an explosion in a chemical tanker that was being dismantled at Alang ship-breaking yard in Bhavnagar district of Gujarat on Saturday, official sources said. The explosion was triggered by a suspected gas leak.
Most of the victims were migrant labourers. The incident happened at around 11 am when the dismantling of the tanker was in progress at plot number 140 inside the Alang yard, said a official of the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB). GMB overlooks and monitors the ship-breaking activity at the yard.
The injured were rushed to a private hospital in Bhavnagar, about 50 km from the yard, the official added.
“A chemical tanker, Perin, was being broken at this plot. This tanker had a double bottom. When the labourers were cutting through the metal near the engine room, the gas trapped between the engine room and the compartment below leaked, causing the explosion. Some of the labourers died on the spot,” said a senior GMB official.
“The tanker was being broken at the plot for the last three months. So, it is very surprising that the gas remained trapped in this compartment for so long,” the official added.
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The ship-breaker — Paras Steel Corporation — confirmed the incident.