Scrap collector loses life in dump yard

A young Bangladeshi man, who had just started working as a scrap collector, was found dead in Dubai’s largest landfill on Monday morning.

By Sajila Saseendran ?and Amira Agarib

Published: Tue 5 Jun 2012, 9:47 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 11:37 AM

Mohammed Bahar Miah, 30, died hours after his residence was stamped on Sunday. His body lay amid the garbage in Dubai Municipality’s sprawling dump yard in Al Qusais overnight.

It is initially suspected that Miah was knocked down by a vehicle or a machine while he was at work. The Dubai Police have referred his body to the Forensic Department for an autopsy to find out what caused his death, said the Director of Al Qusais Police Station, Major Saeed Al Madhani.

Miah was a newly recruited employee of a scrap collection company with which the municipality has a contract for collecting the recyclable scrap from the landfill that receives more than 60 per cent of the waste generated in the emirate. Hundreds of trucks dump over 4,000 tonnes of waste at the landfill 24 hours a day, except Friday.

Qadeer Siddiqi, a manager with Sardar Ali Sons Scrap Trading LLC, said that Miah joined the company just a couple of weeks back. “His visa was stamped on June 3, that is yesterday,” he told Khaleej Times.

Siddiqi said around 200 employees of the company work at the Qusais landfill to collect recyclable materials from the rubbish. He said some of the workers had realised that Miah had gone missing and they had searched for him. “We are really very disturbed about it. We are waiting for the investigation result to know what actually happened,” he said.

Major Al Madhani said other workers at the site were interrogated by the police.

However, he said, nobody had witnessed the death.

Head of municipality’s Waste Treatment Section Naji Al Radhi said the incident was reported to the municipality only around 8am. “I was told the workers had found a body following which the police was called in. If it was an accident, the company did not follow the safety guidelines and work procedure that we have in place.”

The official noted that the guidelines for scrap collectors clearly mention that they should not work at the same time when bulldozers are plying, or when trucks offload waste at the landfill. “They can do the collection only when these vehicles leave the area,” he said.

It is mandatory for the scrap collection company to assign onsite foreman or supervisor to avoid any accident and workers should be using their own mobile lighting devices while working at night, Al Radhi said.

“There are several questions to be answered. Were they following the guidelines, was he alone there and why nobody saw him till morning…We hope the investigation will bring out the answers,” the official said.

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