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Ship containing 1,500 tonnes of mercury anchored at Gadani

Ship containing 1,500 tonnes of mercury anchored at Gadani

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A ship containing hazardous material, i.e. 1500 tonnes of mercury mixed oil, which was denied entry into India and Bangladesh, has been allowed to enter Pakistani waters despite a danger warning by Interpol.

What Happened: On April 22, Interpol had asked the Pakistan Interpol and Federal Investigative Agency (FIA) to not allow the ship into Pakistan, as it contains 1,500 tonnes of mercury mixed oil. However, the ship has been anchored at the Gadani ship-breaking yard and work is underway to deconstruct it. The ship was not permitted to enter Bangladesh and India by the relevant authorities due to the dangerous content inside it which poses a serious threat to the environment, and the local people in the vicinity of the ship. The owners of the ship had succeeded in bringing it to Gadani after obtaining permission from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) without getting the required approval from the concerned departments. Despite obvious dangers of the hazardous material, workers have been employed to remove mercury mixed oil sludge from the ship. As a result, many workers have complained of severe burning and rashes on their hands and face as well as breathing difficulties.

The Response: People have been enraged by the irresponsibility of the relevant authorities that permitted the ship’s entry into the country.

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