Three workers of a ship-breaking yard were crushed to death and another injured when a heavy iron plate fell on them at Madambibir Hat under Sitakunda upazila in the district yesterday.
The deceased were identified as Abul Kalam, 20, of Noakhali; Mohammad Faruk, 30, of Bhatiari area under Sitakunda uapzila and Abul Bashar, 35, of Bogra. The injured could not be immediately identified.
With this, at least 34 workers were killed and several others injured in the last 18 months in 16 accidents in 16 shipyards, mostly due to explosions and coming in contact with toxic materials in ships.
A heavy iron plate suddenly fell on the three workers leaving them dead on the spot around 7.00pm while working at the yard of Sima Steel, owned by one Mohammad Shafi, said Abdur Razzak, sub-inspector of Sitakunda Police Station.
Police sent the bodies to Chittagong Medical College Hospital for autopsy after the deceased co-workers recovered them, Razzak said.
A number of workers, however, said the yard's owner allowed no one to enter the yard till filing this story at 10:00 pm.
On March 5, 2009, the Supreme Court directed the government to ensure safety of those working at ship-breaking yards.
The government has so far failed to comply with the directive, as it allows the yards to operate without ensuring workers' safety, and also without obtaining environment clearance certificates.