NEWS

Charges laid for ship deaths

A prosecutor charged three people with manslaughter yesterday over the deaths of two workers at the Perama docks, west of Athens, court sources said. The captain of the Panama-flagged tanker, an employee in charge of safety and the head of the work crew where the two men were killed on Monday were charged with manslaughter by negligence. The workers, aged 26 and 60, were killed after explosion in the hull of the boat on which they were working. Union groups have accused employers of failing to stick to safety standards. «When we have two deaths we cannot pretend that we are not listening. However, we have created an institutional framework for protection (of employees) that works,» said government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos. He added that checks on work crews in shipyards have picked up this year and that fines have been imposed on those found to have broken the rules. In the first half of 2007, 50 work crews were instructed to stop working by Labor Ministry inspection teams that held 482 safety checks on shipyards.