Six die in fire at Alang Ship Breaking Yard

Six labourers died when a huge fire engulfed a ship being broken at the Alang Ship Breaking Yard in Bhavnagar on Tuesday. While a forensic science laboratory team has begun investigation to find the cause of fire, the local police have also initiated an inquiry into the matter and registered a case of accidental death.

According to the Bhavnagar police, the fire was reported from MSC Jessica, a cargo ship beached at plot number 24 at Alang. The plot belongs to a certain Uday Chaudhary.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the fire started in the afternoon from the engine room located on the first floor of the vessel. The labourers were engaged in breaking work at the upper level then.

"The fire was so huge that the entire vessel was gutted," said the police.

The deceased have been identified as Deepak Gupta, Harish Gupta, Dinesh Bala, Sanjay Mange, Tulsi Shiva, Muna Bela and Sunil Dhobi.

The police said that while Deepak and Harish were residents of Alang, not much is known about Dhobi, whose body was recovered in the evening.

The rest were residents of Piplad village in Tadaja taluka of Bhavnagar district.

The Alang fire brigade said that it took over two hours to extinguish the fire and they could only recover the bodies from the vessel. "The cause of fire is still subject to investigation," said a fire brigade official.

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