Jordan: Several killed by toxic gas leak at Aqaba port

World Tuesday 28/June/2022 10:12 AM
By: DW
Jordan: Several killed by toxic gas leak at Aqaba port
Aqaba's southern beach was evacuated after the gas leak, with emergency workers rushing to the scene

At least 10 people were killed on Monday when a chlorine gas storage tank was dropped and leaked poisonous fumes at the Aqaba port in Jordan.

Officials said that the 25 tons of chlorine were intended to be transported to Djibouti.

Footage shown on state television showed the tank falling from a crane and hitting the deck of a ship below which resulted in a large cloud of yellow gas rising into the air. People were seen running away from the scene.

"Specialists and the hazardous substances team in the civil defense are dealing" with the incident, civil defense spokesman Amer al-Sartawy said. He added that more than 250 people had been injured.

Residents told to stay home

Civil defense personnel rushed to the scene, some in hazmat suits, while the injured were taken to nearby hospitals.

"The injured people are in medium to critical condition," Aqaba health director Jamal Obeidat said, adding that the hospitals in the area were full.

He also told locals to "stay in their homes and shut all windows as a precaution."

Prime Minister Bishr al-Kasawneh and Interior Minister Mazen al-Faraya also made their way to the scene of the incident, according to state media.

Al-Kasawneh launched an investigation, to be headed by the interior minister, into the leak.

An official from the Aqaba Ports Authority said that the gas leak had occurred after an iron rope holding the container broke.

The Aqaba port is situated on the Red Sea, close to Jordan's border with Israel, and is the country's only marine terminal.