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Shipping injuries amid increasing pressure at Port Hedland

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A South Korean bulk carrier ship has caught fire, injuring several workers at Port Hedland.

The MV marigold was berthed at Finucane Island when a fire started in the engine room at around 3pm on Sunday.

Two Burmese crewmen and a South Korean chief engineer have been treated for burns, one of whom was in a serious condition.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau will begin its investigation into the incident tomorrow.

The West Australian spoke to a wharf worker who saw the smoke billowing from the ship and said it was “a big fire”.

This has been the second major incident on a ship at Port Hedland in three weeks, as a 27 year-old Indian sailor lost his foot when it was tangled in a rope.

FMG emergency response assisted with medical treatment of the sailor, as the ship was chartered by FMG.

International Transport Workers Federation coordinator Dean Summers told the West Australian that the ever-increasing volumes of material needing to be loaded put enormous pressure on workers to perform at speed.

“There always has to be a focus on safety above all else, but particularly in places like Port Hedland, where they're all about exporting iron ore as quickly as they can,” he said.

“There are a lot of ships going back and forth, a lot of ships waiting to come in and there's pressure on everybody.

“The pressure on these workers is enormous and essentially they're an invisible workforce.

“Ships are getting bigger all the time, crews are getting smaller and something's got to give."

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