A cloud of poisonous gas was unintentionally released from its container at a Red Sea port in Jordan, which killed at least 13 people and injured hundreds more.
State-owned al-Mamlaka TVA released the CCTV video footage, which shows the container being transported by a crane before it’s dropped onto the ground, unleashing a huge cloud of yellow, toxic gaseous material onto both the ship and port. People can be seen on the video running away after the container was dropped by the crane.
Jordan’s National Center for Security and Crisis Management (NCSCM) said in a statement:
“At 4:15 p.m. on Monday afternoon, a chlorine gas leak occurred in the port of Aqaba due to the fall and explosion of a tank containing this substance.”
The state-owned media shared that the accident led to the death of at least 13 people and over 250 people were injured.
Crane drops tank with poisonous gas in Jordan’s Aqaba port; at least 10 dead, 251 injured pic.twitter.com/wV4wDL2ixb
— BNO News (@BNONews) June 27, 2022
The National News reported that General Security Directorate spokesman, Amer Al Sartawi stated the crane dropped the tank during its transport, which released the chlorine gas.
According to National News, the gas explosion caused shipping to hault in Jordan’s only port, Aqaba, and authorities were forced to evacuate nearby beaches.
The prime minister of Jordan and other government officials inspected the accident site hours after the incident and deemed it no longer a threat to public health.
“The scenario in Aqaba is now below control,” Prime Minister Bisher al-Khasawneh informed the state-owned media outlet.
The Daily Caller dropped some details:
Aqaba Gov. Mohammad Al Radayaa said the port’s explosion “has been controlled,” but the Aqaba Health Department head Jamal Obeidat is still recommending people take shelter inside, according to the outlet. “We advise citizens in Aqaba to stay indoors and close the windows,” Obeidat said. “This gas is critical.”
Officials said the gas tanker was holding 25 tonnes (27.56 tons) of chlorine gas, reported The National News.
Information Minister Faisal Al Shboul said the government scrambled to set up a field hospital and medical equipment. The government also sent at least one plane to the city to complete medical evacuations, the National News reported.
With the latest update comes news that about 123 people are still receiving treatment in hospitals. Around 45 of those injured are personnel from the Public Security Directorate, Civil Defense, and Gendarmerie Cadres First Responders, according to the country’s Public Security Directorate.
Nearby hospitals treating the injured reached full capacity, according to Jordanian state TV, citing the head of the Aqaba Health Directorate, Jamal Obeidat.