Two workers were killed while another was injured after a fire broke out on a crude oil tanker that they were scrapping in the Sitakunda Upazila district of Chittagong, Bangladesh.
The three individuals and 14 other workers were in the process of scrapping the 300,000DWT Greek Warrior, which was beached at the Shagorika Ship Breaking Yard, when an explosion occurred on board at around 08:30 local time on Monday, February 18.
Two of the workers were badly burned by the subsequent blaze and were rushed to hospital but ultimately succumbed to their injuries. The third individual, whose injuries were less severe, is currently recuperating in hospital in Sitakunda.
The explosion was caused by sparks that came in contact with residual oil on board the vessel, an official of Chittagong’s environmental directorate has stated.
The official adds that the accident could have been avoided if the yard had followed the requisite safety guidelines.
The yard’s owner has refuted the environmental directorate’s statement, claiming that every precaution had been taken to ensure workers’ safety and that nearly two-thirds of Greek Warrior had already been dismantled.
The incident is currently being investigated by local authorities, who have since been preventing the yard’s employees from entering the area.
Greek Warrior, formerly owned by Athens-based Polembros Shipping, was reportedly sold and delivered to Bangladeshi breakers in 2018.