Toxic gas leak at Jordan’s Aqaba port kills 13, injures hundreds
June 28, 2022
On Monday, a crane putting chlorine tanks onto a ship at the port of Aqaba, Jordan, dropped one of them, setting off a massive explosion of poisonous yellow smoke that wounded more than 250 people and claimed the lives of 13 individuals. Authorities claim that a crane malfunction caused a chemical storage container to fall while being carried, according to the AFP.
The event was captured on surveillance video, which showed the container being lifted into the air before suddenly falling into a ship and exploding. On the ground, a sizable cloud of bright yellow gas is visible expanding. Dockworkers may also be seen scurrying to get away from the poisonous fumes.
The government's crisis cell announced in a statement that "a chlorine gas leak occurred in Jordan's port of Aqaba at precisely 15:15 this afternoon as a result of the fall and explosion of a tank storing this material," according to AFP.
Have a look at this video uploaded by Suzanne on Aqaba incident
At least 10 people have died and more than 250 injured after a toxic gas leak at Aqaba Port in Jordan. pic.twitter.com/kjTDaPkelw
— Suzanne (@suzanneb315) June 27, 2022
According to the most recent report on the death toll, 123 individuals were still hospitalized on Tuesday. Some were in critical condition. After visiting the port late on Monday, Prime Minister Bisher al-Khasawneh said on state television that "the situation in Aqaba is now under control."
The city of Aqaba, located 16 kilometers north of the port, was warned by the authorities to stay indoors and cover windows and doors after the occurrence. The southern shore of Aqaba was also evacuated out of prudence.
Additionally, to handle the leak and clean-up operation, the Civil Defense Department dispatched specialized personnel to the port. The interior minister, Mazen Faraya, was given the task of leading an inquiry when Jordan's prime minister traveled to Aqaba.
Separately, the container's "iron rope" "broke" when it was being carried onto a vessel," the deputy director of the port of Aqaba told AlMamlaka TV. He stated that the container was being shipped to Djibouti and contained between 25 and 30 tonnes of chlorine.
Chemicals containing chlorine are utilized in both industry and domestic cleaning products. At standard pressure and temperature, it is a yellow-green gas. Chlorine combines with water to form acids that harm body cells when it is breathed, ingested, or comes into contact with the skin. Pulmonary oedema, a potentially fatal illness, is brought on by breathing in large amounts of the gas.