Daily Mail – World’s biggest ship graveyard – where huge tankers and cruise liners are scrapped on the shorefront and workers toil for £2 a day
(Written by Daniel Miller)
14 May 2013 - Massive Gadani ship-breaking yard stretches some 10kn along the coast near Karachi, Pakistan. Workers are paid a pittance to work in filthy and dangerous conditions but there is not shortage of recruits. The facility reduces around 100 ships a year into sheets and angles of metal, pipes and working machines. It produces about a million tonnes of steel fulfilling most of Pakistan’s demand for metal from the construction sector.
This is the biggest ship graveyard in the world – where huge tankers and cruise liners are scrapped on the shorefront by teams of labourers using little more than hand tools.
The job is considered one of the most dangerous in the world with workers earning a pittance of just £2.25 a day. But amazingly there is no shortage of willing recruits.
They come from a nearby squatter settlements and every morning swarm a 10k stretch of sandy beach at Gadani in Pakistan.
Over the course of the day, they combine muscle with machine to split vessels a thousand times bigger than their homes.
Shakeel had taken over a job from his ageing father a few years earlier and worked with younger brothers Wakil and Ismaiel.
The brothers siphon oils left inside the ships and pack them in steel barrels before they are sent off to the market.
Gadani is located 65K south-west of Karachi on a secluded stretch of coastline.
It is the third largest ship-breaking yard in the world, after Alang in India and Chittagong in Bangladesh.
The facility tears down an average of 100 ships into sheets and angles of metal, pipes and working machines, every year.
They produce about a million tonnes of steel sold domestically in Pakistan – most of it fulfils demand for metal for the construction sector.
It takes an average of six months for a ship to be broken at bigger facilities like Alang and Chittagong, but just four months at Gadani.