The Maritime Executive – Another Fatal Accident at Chittagong, Bangladesh Gov’t to Beef Up Maritime Training

23 September 2011 – On Thursday at the Chittagong shipbreaking yard, one worker was killed and two others injured when a large iron plate crashed onto the men while conducting welding work in Sitakunda upazila, The Daily Star reports.

The man who died has been identified as Md Farid, 22, and the injured as Alam, 20, and Saiful, 22. The accident occurred around 9:30 am when the men were welding an iron plate from a platform besides a ship, manager of SRS Ship Breaking Yard divulged.  The joint plate came loose during the welding, and fell directly onto Farid, killing him instantly.  The two other men suffered injuries from jumping off the platform into a muddy area while trying to avoid getting hit from the falling metal.

Sadly, incidents like this are not uncommon for yards in Bangladesh, especially Chittagong.  Nine workers have already lost their lives this year due to lax safety regulations and training implementations.

Interestingly, on Friday morning, news from the Bangladeshi government surfaced that efforts to produce more skilled merchant marine workers are well underway as they are attempting to establish new marine academies in all divisional headquarters.  BD News 24, an online Bangladesh newspaper, quoted the shipping minister, Shahjahan Khan, as saying they have already approved a number of institutes, and that the government is committed to promoting the maritime sector.

Khan said that there will be a new maritime university set up in Chittagong, and with all the attention the industry has received worldwide, he hopes to provide the best training by partnering with British marine institute giant, South Tyneside College. Khan says he hopes to see the interest in merchant marine rise as a profession in Bangladesh.