Asbestos packed ship could be illegally scrapped in India

Environmentalists hit out last night after it was revealed an aging American ocean liner could be scrapped in India against international law.

The SS Oceanic, formerly SS Independence, is thought to be full of asbestos and toxic PCB chemicals.

The ship was revealed last night (October 22) to be just 40 nautical miles from an Indian shipbreaking yard by campaigners fighting against the practice of sending crumbling craft to be stripped in the third world.

The Basel Action Network (BAN) believe the ship, now called the Platinum II is at the Alang shipbreaking yard.

If the campaigners are right and the ship is scrapped it would be in direct contravention of US and international laws.

BAN's executive director, Jim Puckett, said: "US law exists to protect other countries from the scourge of toxic PCBs, and yet we continually fail to diligently enforce these laws.

"It is clear now the government made a terrible mistake in letting this ship sail away, it is now incumbent on the administration to do everything in its power to require India to repatriate the ship for proper toxic waste management as the law requires."

All international ships can be monitored through online global positioning systems the Platinum II is currently anchored off Gopnath point approximately 40 nautical miles from the Alang coast.

Luke Walsh


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