A film by Paul Goodman, Ralph Vituccio, and Tom Clancey
Alang, India is home to 30,000-40,000 migrant workers along a six-mile stretch of dirty oceanfront — where half of the world’s discarded ships come to be disassembled by hand.
We work, we eat, we sleep. We don’t have a life.
Alang, Gujarat, India is the largest shipbreaking yard in the world, with more than 10km of coastline.
The geography of Alang’s coast make it a favorable location for shipbreaking. Due to high tidal ranges and a gently sloping, rocky bottom beach, it is easy to run ships ashore during high tide.
Once beached, ships are broken down from front to back, with winches (and laborers) pulling ships further inland as they are cut away until the ship is completely broken down.
Most of the work is manual labor. The ship is cut apart piece by piece with hand-held torches, and pieces of scrap are carried or pulled around by workers.
Some of the more valuable metals are cut with hammer and chisel to preserve their resale value.
One ship, one death