Toxic Trade News / 10 May 2006
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Another Toxic Ship Heads For India
by Nidhi Sharma - All Headline News Contributor, All Headline News
10 May 2006 (New Delhi, India) – After the French toxic ship controversy ended a few months ago, a former cruise liner with hundreds of tons of asbestos and other toxic material on board is heading for an Indian shipping yard for dismantling.

The 46,000 ton Blue Lady, formerly the SS. Norway, was on its way to the Alang yard in Gujarat from Malaysia.

Environmental group Greenpeace said on Tuesday India had not learnt a "single lesson" from the Clemenceau saga.

In February, the French government decided to block the Clemenceau, a mothballed aircraft carrier containing tons of toxic asbestos, after Greenpeace said that landing it in India would pose a risk to the health of workers.

"The Indian government is washing its hands of the ship and following a business-as-usual policy in Alang," Greenpeace campaigner Ramapati Kumar told Reuters.

In a report in December, Greenpeace said that innumerable workers involved in the ship-breaking industry in countries such as India, China and Pakistan had risked their lives and succumb to death over the past two decades in accidents or exposure to toxic waste.

The 315-metre (1,035-foot) Blue Lady contains more than 900 tonnes of asbestos and heavy metals. The ship that entered service in 1962, was owned by Malaysia's Star Cruises Ltd.

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