Breaking Ships by Roland Buerk
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Asbestos, explosives, and chemical waste are only a few of the hazards involved in the meticulous work of destroying a giant ship. When new labor laws and environmental standards came to Europe, the ship-breaking industry moved to places like Chittagong on the coast of Bangladesh-places where the lives of workers seem expendable, and the environment is someone else’s problem.
Breaking Ships follows the demise of the Asian Tiger, a ship destroyed at one of the twenty ship-breaking yards along the beaches of Chittagong. BBC Bangladesh correspondent Roland Buerk takes us through the process-from beaching the vessel to its final dissemination, from wealthy shipyard owners to poverty-stricken ship cutters, and from the economic benefits for Bangladesh to the pollution of its once pristine beaches.