Aces had been beached at the shipbreaking yards in Gadani, Pakistan. It is believed that sparks from cutting - or the explosion of a cutting gas tank - ignited the petroleum on board; the blast that followed tore apart her decks, killing at least two dozen and injuring 58 more.
The known death toll has risen to 28 since the blast, as many of the injured died of their wounds in the days and weeks after. The exact numbers of the dead may never be known, as the yard did not keep written records of its workers. Pakistani unions estimate that there are at least ten workers still missing, based on inquiries from the men's families.
The provincial government has arranged for a $22,000 payment for families of the deceased, plus $1,500 for each of the injured.
Pakistani officials have acknowledged that beaching is often used as an opportunity for smuggling petroleum products into the country. The ministry of shipping's report called for an investigation into customs practices: the shipbreaking contractor had not obtained customs clearance before bringing the Aces onto the beach.
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