The Daily Star – Two ship breaking yard burn victims groaning at CMCH

(Written by Arun Bikash Dey)

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22 January 2014 – Two workers injured in a tank explosion in a ship breaking yard in Sitakunda upazila of Chittagong on Sunday are now fighting for life in Chittagong Medical College Hospital.

With 16 percent burn injuries, Jaladas, 28, and with 38 percent, Md Lalu, 22, are undergoing treatment at the Burn and Plastic Surgery Unit at the CMCH, said Dr Mrinal Kanti Das.

Tapan’s face, chest, left hand and the wrist of right hand were brunt while Lalu’s entire face and left hand were burnt, he said.

Tapan, a foreman, was cutting a tank with a gas cutter at Kabir Steel Ship Breaking Yard around 9:30am. All of a sudden, it exploded and Tapan caught fire as there was gas inside the pipe, said Superviser Imran Uddin.

Lalu, while trying to douse the fire, was also caught the fire, he added.

Shridam Jaladas, a fisherman and father of Tapan, hailing from Shitalpur of Sitakunda, said Tapan had been working in the yard for 10 years.

Co-workers held the company responsible for not taking precautionary measures to save them from the accident.

Mokhles, a co-worker and Lalu’s cousin, said Lalu of Gabtali in Bogra had been working there for four years.

Co-workers said the two did not wear fireproof dress.

“If they were provided with fireproof jackets during their work, they might have been saved from the burn injuries,” they said.

However, Dulalul Karim, director of the yard, claimed that they have provided all the workers with fireproof jackets.

“Our company is bearing all the expenses of their treatment,” he added.