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NGO: Accident rate in shipbreaking is alarming

Though there have been certain improvements, the number of fatalities, accidents, and diseases related to shipbreaking in Asia is alarming, says Patrizia Heidegger, Executive Director of NGO Shipbreaking Platform.

At least 15 workers in Bangladesh died in 2012 in relation to the shipbreaking in the country, which, like India and Pakistan, is home to one of the world's largest and most dangerous industries, according to a statement by NGO Shipbreaking Platform, a global coalition of human rights and environmental organizations.

The real number of work accidents and fatalities related to shipbreaking is unknown, says NGO Shipbreaking Platform, as the industry does not maintain adequate or satisfactory statistics, as well as the fact that many later diseases and premature deaths, caused by the workers' handling of toxic materials, have yet to be properly illuminated. The organization believes that the total number of casualties in the shipbreaking industry over the years can be counted in the thousands.

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