Twelve people died and more than 260 were injured this Monday (27) in the Jordan after the fall of a container of toxic gas in the port of Aqaba, said a source close to the country’s government.
“A chlorine leak occurred at 15:15 in the port of Aqaba after a container of liquid gas fell, killing 12 people and injuring 260 Jordanians and foreigners,” as the government’s crisis cell announced.
According to officials who did not want to be identified, the container fell from a vessel in the southern part of the port. Jordanian Prime Minister Bicher Al-Khasawneh and his Interior Minister Mazen Al-Faraya were there, according to the official Al-Mamlaka television network.
The port city of Aqaba, one of the main ones on the Red Sea, is the only sea port in the Hashemite kingdom, through which most Jordanian imports and exports pass.
According to images broadcast on TV, a crane that was supporting the container dropped it onto the vessel. Upon impact, yellow smoke immediately escaped as people tried to flee.
Aqaba region port authority deputy chief Haj Hassan told Al-Mamlaka that an “iron cable carrying a container containing a toxic substance broke, which caused the product to fall and leak”.
The wounded were taken to two public hospitals, a private center and a field health tent, officials said.
Aqaba’s director of health, Jamal Obeidat, said that “the hospitals in Aqaba were full and could not receive more wounded”, some in critical condition.