Tradewinds – Owners named in scrapping fatalities

(Written by Adam Corbett)

30 May 2014 - Environmental lobby group the NGO Shipbreaking Platform is naming some of the former owners of vessels undergoing demolition that it alleges have been linked to the death of 15 workers in Bangladesh and India this year.

According to the Brussels-based organisation’s information, one worker died after a fall while dismantling the Magdalene in Chittagong, Bangladesh. The ship was formerly owned by Germany’s Johann MK Blumenthal.

Another worker died while working on the Negmar Yatirim-owned Barbaros G, and another on the Kima, a ship formerly controlled by South Korea’s Sunwoo Merchant Marine.

It also says one more Bangladeshi worker died at a yard called Siko Steel while dismantling a containership previously operated by Neptune Orient Line (NOL)’s American President Lines. Four people died at a Chittagong yard when a cylinder exploded on an unnamed ship operated by Russian containership outfit Far East Shipping Co (Fesco), the organisation says.

Patrizia Heidegger, executive director of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform, said: “These deaths and injuries are the consequences of these companies wanting to make the biggest profit on the sale of their old ships.”

The lobby group has been encouraged by Teekay Shipping’s decision to reportedly review its ship-demolition policy after it exposed the death of a worker scrapping one of the company’s ships.