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UK-based shipping company facing legal claim following death caused by shipbreaking

A legal claim has been issued against shipping company Maran (UK) Ltd by the wife of a man who was killed while working in the shipbreaking industry in Chittagong, Bangladesh.

Shipbreaking

31 January 2020

MD Khalil Mollah, 32, was killed after falling from a great height while working on the Ekta vessel, previously named the Maran Centaurus, on or around 30 March 2018.

Maran (UK) Ltd is the UK company of Greek shipping giant, Angelicoussis Shipping Group. The case has been issued in the High Court in London. A first hearing date is yet to be listed.
 
The claim, brought by law firm Leigh Day on behalf of Khalil’s wife and son, is for negligence, breach of common law duty of care and unjust enrichment. The claimant argues in the legal case that Maran is legally liable because the company had a responsibility to take all reasonable steps to ensure that the end of life sale and disposal of the vessels for demolition would not endanger human health, damage the environment and/or breach international regulations for the protection of human health and the environment.
 
The shipbreaking industry in Chittagong is notoriously dangerous, involving the dismantling of huge ships by workers using very little equipment. The ships often contain hazardous materials and the ‘ship breakers’ work at great heights with no safety ropes or protective equipment. Causes of death have included toxic asphyxiation, heat stroke, falling from great heights and being crushed by falling metal. Injured workers who survived have been subject to severe burns, spinal fractures and potential permanent paralysis.
 
Most workers, including Khalil, work 12 to 16 hour days, seven days a week. Khalil was paid just over £8 a day, which was just enough to pay for his family’s essentials.
 
Oliver Holland, solicitor at law firm Leigh Day, said:
 
“The shipbreaking industry is incredibly dangerous and there are many reported deaths and serious injuries each year. Our client argues that huge international shipping management companies such as Maran, who sell on their vessels for scrap to the beaches of south Asia, must do so in the knowledge of the environmental damage and grave health and safety dangers to workers. These shipping companies make vast sums in profit by selling their vessels to south Asian beaches rather than recycling them properly in the ship yards of Europe, Turkey or China - it is time for them to invest some of that wealth in making sure that their vessels are disposed of safely and in a way which does not harm the environment.”

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