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At least 20 Dead In Pakistani Shipbreaking Yard Blasts

Rescue workers and family members of missing laborers gather and wait near the burning oil tanker at the Gadani ship-breaking yard some 45 kilometers of Karachi on November 2.

The death toll from a recent explosion and fire at a Pakistani shipbreaking yard has risen to 20, officials said on November 5.

At least 59 others were injured on November 1 when a gas cylinder exploded, starting a fire inside an oil tanker at the Gadani yard in the southwestern province of Balochistan.

Muhammad Hashim, commissioner of the Kalat region, which includes Gadani, told the AFP news agency that he does not have confirmation about the missing. Laborers say at least seven of their colleagues are unaccounted for.

A high-level committee formed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to investigate the causes of the fire had its first meeting in Karachi on November 5. A final report will be available within a week, an official statement said.

The Gadani shipbreaking yard, which stretches along 10 kilometers of Pakistan’s coast, is located about 60 kilometers northwest of Karachi.

It is the third-largest shipbreaking facility in the world and employs more than 6,000 people.

Based on reporting by AFP