A worker died and another fell ill inhaling toxic gas while cleaning oil from a scrap ship at a shipbreaking yard in Sitakunda on Friday afternoon.
The deceased is Biplob Haldar, 27, son of Bijon Haldar of Pirojpur, and the injured is Md Jashim, 25. They were cleaning oil from the ship's tank at Premium Trade Corporation owned by Nurun Nabi Manik at Baraowlia of Sitakunda.
Sanjay Haldar, Biplob's maternal uncle who also works at the yard, said he heard Biplob and Jashim were injured inhaling toxic gas when they lifted the lid of a tank aboard MV Elite around 3:00pm.
They were taken to three private hospitals in the port city but were refused treatment there, Sanjay added.
Later, the management of the yard sent the duo to Chittagong Medical College Hospital. They were taken to CMCH around 8:00pm, almost five hours after the incident.
Biplob was pronounced dead on arrival, while Jashim was admitted to the hospital.
The postmortem on the body was done on Saturday afternoon, a day after the incident.
Sanjay claimed his nephew was not wearing any protective gear and the shipbreaking yard authorities only provided transport cost for the body.
Abdul Hye Khan, deputy inspector general of Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishment (DIFE), said a team from the department visited the site after the accident.
Asked if the yard secured proper certificates for dismantling the ship, he said, “The yard authorities said they would submit the necessary certificates to us in the afternoon today (Sunday).”
Shipbreaking requires two certificates from the Department of Explosives. One is needed when a ship comes at the outer anchorage and the other after beaching the ship in the yard.
Officials from the explosives department visit the ship and provide the certificates after examining if explosives and toxic gas have completely been removed, he said.
Yard owner Nurun Nabi could not be contacted over the phone. A person identifying himself as his personal secretary told this correspondent that Nabi was busy in a meeting.
Officer-in-Charge of Sitakunda police Iftekhar Hossain said an unnatural death case was filed on Friday evening.