Two Indians killed in on-board accident at Singapore (Lead)

June 19th, 2008 - 1:12 pm ICT by IANS  

DPA
Singapore, June 19 (DPA) Two Indian nationals working below a ship’s deck died of suspected gas poisoning in a second shipyard accident here in less than a month, police said Thursday. Five other workers were taken to the National University Hospital in stable condition.

All seven Indian nationals working below the deck of the Pacific Ataawhai in a Singapore dry dock found themselves gasping for breath.

The two who died, aged 21 and 25, were believed to have suffocated. The five others were between 22 and 32.

The names of the victims were not immediately known.

On June 9, Indian national Karuppan Arjunan, 42, died after he was severely burned in an explosion aboard a vessel being painted at a nearby shipyard. Fourteen other workers were also injured in the Rainbow Star blaze.

No explosion took place Wednesday on board the Singapore-registered ship that was being converted into a seismic survey vessel at DryDocks World Singapore, officials said.

The Workplace Safety and Health Council visited the shipyard Thursday to determine what can be done “to avoid future occurrences”, said chairman Lee Tzu Yang.

Experts told The Straits Times that hazardous fumes or a lack of oxygen could have led to the men’s collapse. They were working in a confined area.

One possibility raised was an accidental release of carbon dioxide, displacing the oxygen.

There were nine deaths last year in Singapore’s shipbuilding and ship-repair industry from explosions, fires and exposure to harmful substances.

Under the law, companies can be fined up to 500,000 Singapore dollars ($373,000) for flouting safety rules.
DPA

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