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Body Rises in Emirates Dock Flood

March 29, 2002

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) _ Rescue teams on Friday recovered four more bodies at a Dubai shipyard, raising the death toll to 26 after the sea burst through a broken gate and flooded a dry dock this week.

The Dubai Drydocks Co. said it was searching for four other missing people but held out little hope of finding survivors, the government’s Emirates News Agency reported.

Wednesday’s flooding, in which 23 people were also injured, occurred when two panels of a dock gate ruptured as work was being carried out on them, allowing sea water to surge into the dry dock.

Rescue divers, police, civil defense and dry dock safety officers were searching the accident area.

The company did not identify the victims or provide a breakdown of their nationalities. A company statement on Thursday said seven people remained hospitalized but their injuries were not serious.

About 3,500 employees _ mostly from the Indian subcontinent, Thailand and the Philippines _ work at Dubai’s shipyard, which provides maintenance to ships passing through the Persian Gulf. It also builds small vessels.

Several thousand people were inside the dry docks when the accident happened. Five ships undergoing work at the time suffered varying degrees of damage.

The Dubai dry dock complex opened in 1983 and is one of the world’s largest. It boasts four docks and is protected by 2 1/2 miles of breakwaters.

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