Third attempt to tug-out soybean ship from KPT fails

Soybean vessel at Karachi Port

KARACHI: Third attempt to tug out Hercules cargo ship loaded with soybean from KPT to Port Qasim failed on Thursday as the captain refused to operate the ship due to lack of balance.

A decision to remove the vessel from the port over apprehensions in the wake of recent deaths and health issues in population adjacent to the port was made on Wednesday.

The ship was supposed to be towed to the Port Qasim on Wednesday (yesterday), but the attempt failed over failure to balance the ship by keeping the situation of waves in view.

Later, the arrangements were finalised by the tug board to tow-away Hercules, last night again, but the attempt failed second time due to non-balance of the ship in the level of the water at the channel.

Maritime Minister Ali Zaidi had earlier told the media about decision to remove the cargo ship from the Karachi Port berth to Port Qasim.

Dr Iqbal Chaudhry, the Director of International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi had advised the government to consider “exposure to soybean dust (aeroallergens)” as a cause of breathing difficulties being faced by residents of Karachi’s Keamari area.

So far, 14 people from different parts of Keamari have died and over 400 have been taken to hospitals for treatment reportedly after inhaling toxic gas.

Residents complained of symptoms of breathing difficulties, burning sensation in the nose, watery eyes and itching in the throat.


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