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Death toll in Pakistan shipbreaking yard explosion rises to 18

Wednesday, Nov 2, 2016,17:15 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Karachi | The death toll from a series of explosions that rocked an oil tanker at a ship-breaking yard in Pakistan’s southern Balochistan province rose to 18 after more bodies were recovered, officials said on Wednesday.

Four more bodies were retrieved late yesterday, hours after at least 14 people were killed and more than 50 others injured in the blast at Gadani ship-breaking yard, Geo News reported, quoting officials.

More than 100 people were working on the 8-foot-high ship at the time of the explosions.

Many were reported trapped inside the vessel moored in Gadani, 45 kms northwest of the port city of Karachi.

An official of Edhi Trust welfare foundation had said a loud blast rocked the ship docked in the shipbreaking yard, setting the ship on fire and that more than 25 people have been rescued.

About eight explosions occurred in the oil-tanker due to gas-welding work.

Gadani is world’s third-largest shipbreaking centres – after Alang and Mumbai – where more than 15,000 workers are directly employed while another two million indirectly earn their livelihoods from it.

President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif have expressed grief over the loss of lives in the accident.
Sharif has also ordered an inquiry into the incident.

Area SSP Raja Ashfaq had said yesterday that most of the dead were those workers who had tried to jump into the sea and drowned or were burnt alive.