One of the largest ship-breaking yards in the world is located near the port of Chittagong in Bangladesh. It stretches for 18 km along the coast on the Bay of Bengal and is the place where more than 200,000 Bangladeshis break down up to 100 ships a year.
All the employees work under hazardous conditions, which imply ripping apart ships with their bare hands. Every piece of metal that is worth salvaging is transported to the waiting trucks in order to be carried away to furnaces where they will be melted down and modeled in steel rods.
The whole process starts when a ship-breaker buys vessels from an international broker who deals in decommissioned ships. Then, a captain is hired to deliver the ship to the breaker’s yard. Once the ship is aground in the mud, all its liquids are siphoned out and then the machinery and fittings are stripped.
Not one single piece is wasted, from enormous engines, batteries, generators and lifeboats, all serve for different purposes.
In exchange of four dollars per day, workers have to inhale noxious fumes, electrocution, falling debris and explosion of leftover gas. Many of them have deep scars, fingers missing and are blind in one eye.