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Chlorine gas leak in Jordan kills 13, injures at least 250
Several grain silos halted work to allow inspection for any sign of contamination
By News Desk - June 28 2022
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CCTV footage shows a storage tank containing chlorine gas crashing into a ship after falling from a winch, in Aqaba, Jordan 27 June, 2022. (Photo credit: REUTERS)

At least 13 people died and 251 were injured in Jordan’s southern port city of Aqaba on 27 June when a tank filled with 25 tons of chlorine gas fell while being moved.

A video posted by Jordanian state TV showed a storage tank falling from a winch and slamming into the deck of a ship, followed by yellow gas rising into the air as people ran away.

The chlorine gas was being exported to Djibouti.

Jordanian officials said security personnel sealed off the area after evacuating the injured to hospitals.

Specialized teams were deployed to deal with the deadly leak, according to the civil defense service, while evacuation planes have been deployed to Aqaba.

Prime Minister Bisher al-Khasawneh arrived in the port city following the incident and visited a hospital where some of the injured were being treated, state TV reported.

According to Al-Mamlaka TV, 199 victims were still being treated in hospitals.

Meanwhile, the Hashemite kingdom’s information minister announced the formation of an investigation team into the incident, to be chaired by the interior minister.

Local health authorities urged citizens to remain indoors and to close their windows and doors. The closest residential area to the port is located 25 kilometers away.

Chlorine is a commonly used as a disinfectant and water purification agent. However, if inhaled, the gas turns to hydrochloric acid, which causes internal burning and drowning through a reflex release of water in the lungs.

Several grain silos located near the port halted work following the incident to allow inspection of its grains and for any signs of contamination.

Maritime traffic at Aqaba ports continues, officials said, adding that there were no vessels unloading grain cargo at the time of the incident.

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