Worker dies at Alang Ship breaking yard in India

15.10.2010

28 year old worker dies on October 12 in a fatal accident at Alang Ship Breaking Yard in the state of Gujarat in India.

INDIA: Janardhan Choudhary, a 28 year old ship breaking worker, working in M/s Bansal Infra Co. Ltd. at yard no.154 Alang Shipbreaking yard, died as a result of a fatal accident at work on October 12, 2010 at about 3.00 pm.  While he was working as a Malpani (helper), scrap material from the ship fell down in the open wing tank manhole of the ship.  He was shifted to hospital at Bhavnagar, 50 kms away from Alang and Sosiya ship breaking yards, where he died. Janardhan is a migrant labour from Siddhartha Nagar, an impoverished district of Uttar Pradesh. He is married and his family stays at his native place.

Mr. Ram Patel, Vice President of Alang Sosiya Ship Recycling & General Workers Association (ASSRGWA) along with colleagues rushed to the hospital. The ASSRGWA demanded strict action against the employer and the Labour Department for non-enforcement of safety measures and the yards statutory compensation and dues to the family members of the deceased worker.

The ship breaking industry in Alang and Sosiya employs over 55,000 workers. Despite the number of deadly accidents and hundreds of workers' death, a full-fledged hospital is 50 kms away. According to a survey published by International Metalworkers' Federation in 2007, on average 50 workers per day get injured and some of them seriously. As per records of the union ASSRGWA since January 2010, 17 workers died at work.  Most of the workers are poor migrants from poor areas of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand and Gujarat and work for meagre wages in a hazardous and toxic working environment.