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Jakarta Post

Scrap metal workers risk life and limb breaking up ships in Belah Kapal

  • Budi Sutrisno

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, October 22, 2019   /  02:50 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Scrap workers in Cilincing, North Jakarta, work in a dangerous environment.(JP/Budi Sutrisno)

A cacophony of metal bashing filled the air along the shore of Kalibaru in Cilincing, North Jakarta, on a sweltering Friday morning. With acetylene torches in their hands, dozens of workers cut parts off old ships in a 2-hectare yard located near an alley, fittingly named Belah Kapal (Ship Breaking). “It’s a metal-recycling business. Ships that are aged 20 to 30 years or are no longer feasible to operate because of severe damage will be cut up by the sea into car-sized plates, before being lifted ashore and chopped up into pieces measuring only 1 square meter,” said Dulatip, a foreman. Dulatip and other workers risk life and limb scrapping ships. There is a lack of proper safety equipment to protect them from deadly toxins, exploding gases, falling steel plates or other dangers. Workers cut bits of a ship into 1-square-meter steel plates. (JP/Budi Sutr...