Blast kills five at Asia's biggest shipbreaking yard, say officials

Indian workers are seen at one of some 160 plots at Alang-Sosiya Shipbreaking yard in the vicinity of Meethi Virdi village in Bhavnagar district, some 260km from Ahmedabad on May 27, 2011. Five people were killed and at least two injured on Satu
Indian workers are seen at one of some 160 plots at Alang-Sosiya Shipbreaking yard in the vicinity of Meethi Virdi village in Bhavnagar district, some 260km from Ahmedabad on May 27, 2011. Five people were killed and at least two injured on Saturday, June 28, 2014, in a gas explosion at Asia's largest shipbreaking yard on the west coast of India, police said. -- PHOTO: AFP

AHMEDABAD, India (AFP) - Five people were killed and at least two injured on Saturday in a gas explosion at Asia's largest shipbreaking yard on the west coast of India, police said.

The accident occurred as a group of labourers were breaking up a ship at a yard in Alang, in the state of Gujarat.

"Five people have died following the explosion due to gas leakage in the ship on which they were working," Mr Maninder Pratap Singh Pawar, a senior police officer from Bhavnagar district, told AFP.

"Out of the five, two died on the spot while three succumbed to burn injuries in the hospital," Mr Pawar added.

The two injured were being treated at a government hospital in Bhavnagar, about 240 kilometres from Ahmedabad.

Police officials said an investigation was underway and the exact cause of the gas leak was not yet known.

Alang, which has been called the graveyard of ships, recycles thousands of vessels from around the world.