Toxic Gas Explosion in Jordan Leaves 12 Killed, at least 250 Injured
At least 10 people died and more than 250 were injured due to the poisonous gas leak in Jordan’s southern port city of Aqaba on Monday. The incident occurred in an area situated 20 kilometres across the Bay of Aqaba from Israel's southern city of Eilat.
Footages shared by state-run media showed an orange crane that was hoisting a tanker from a truck. It was seen crashing on the deck of a ship leading to a huge explosion and starting a fire.
A spokesman for the General Security Directorate, Amer Al Sartawi, said that “a tanker filled with a toxic gaseous substance fell during transport, which led to a gas leakage at the site.”
According to the authorities who responded to the scene, the cylinder that had crashed contained 25 tonnes of chlorine which was bound for export. The beaches were immediately evacuated, and people on the ship’s dock were seen running for their lives.
Aqaba Governor Mohammad Al Radayaa told the state press that the situation “has been controlled” and that the response teams were gauging the damages. Several tourists flock to Aqaba to visit the Nabatean city of Petra situated two hours away.
Director of Aqaba Health Department Jamal Obeidat said those injured are in moderate to serious medical conditions. He warned Aqaba residents to remain at home, saying that the danger of the toxic gas leakage is still there.
Chlorine is a chemical used in industry and in household cleaning products. It is a yellow-green gas at normal temperature and pressure, but is usually pressurised and cooled for storage and shipment.
Inhaling high levels of chlorine causes fluid to build up in the lungs, a life-threatening condition known as pulmonary oedema.