Ship recycling leaves tide of death on Asia’s beaches - children killed working

24th May 2009, 15:47
Full and quite horrific account here...

In the searing heat of a July morning, 13-year-old Sultan Nasiruddin Molla set off for his first day of work on the seemingly endless stretch of muddy coastline in Chittagong, Bangladesh, where young men armed with wrenches and blow torches swarm like ants over rusting skeletons of beached ships.

Sultan, excited at the prospect of joining the world of grown-ups and earning his first working wage, never made it back home. Hours after signing up to join the rag-tag brigade of workers dismantling a 5,000-ton vessel with a scrap value of more than 4 million US dollars, a steel girder from the precarious wreckage crashed down onto his head and killed him.

The boy’s death last year was nothing unusual. Sultan was the 10th worker to die in 2008 in Chittagong’s ship-breaking industry, in which around 11 per cent of the 30,000 labourers are under age, conditions are perilous and wages average from 1 to 2 US dollars a day.

Jeff Taylor
25th May 2009, 16:35
Supposedly most, if not all, of Bangladesh's shipbreaking is being put out of business due to new environmental enforcement.

24th June 2009, 20:48
Brownsville is know for it's shipbreaking. Now there is a push in San Francisco to begin ship breaking in the old Naval Drydocks. It is still in the early stages and show some promise.