The death toll in a series of explosions at a ship breaking yard in Pakistan’s southwest mounted to 18 as more bodies were recovered from the site, officials said.
More than 50 labourers were also injured on Tuesday after a series of blasts rocked an unused oil tanker being dismantled at the Gadani shipbreaking yard in Balochistan province after tanks on the ship caught fire.
Some workers are trapped inside the ship while others who were able to exit from above jumped into the sea, the reports said.
Nasir Mansoor, a representative of the National Trade Union Federation of Pakistan, said the explosion sent pieces of metal flying up to 2 km.
The blast occurred in the fuel tank of the ship, which was still on fire, he said.
Firefighters from Karachi and from the air force and navy were attempting to put out the blaze, he said.
Mansoor said the firefighters would have to wait for the fire to die out “as they lack the foam required douse it”.
Labourers in Gaddani, which is 45 km from the port city of Karachi, often work in poor conditions without basic protective gear, the report said.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed his condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the explosion and has ordered an inquiry into the accident.