Toxic gas leak at Jordan’s Aqaba port

Toxic gas leak at Jordan's Aqaba port kills 11, injures hundreds
Toxic gas leak at Jordan’s Aqaba port kills 11, injures hundreds

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Toxic gas leak at Jordan’s Aqaba port kills 11, injures hundreds after a gas cylinder was dropped and exploded while being loaded onto a ship at Jordan’s Aqaba port, according to media reports.

Authorities said a chemical storage container fell while being transported as a result of a crane malfunction.

CCTV footage showed the container being lifted into the air and then suddenly falling onto a ship and exploding.

City health authorities have advised residents to close their windows and stay indoors, according to state television.

The ship appears to be the Hong Kong-flagged MV Forest 6, a multi-purpose cargo and heavy lifting vessel built in 2021.

Some unconfirmed reports stated that the substance is chlorine.

Chlorine is a chemical used in industry and household cleaning products.

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It is a greenish-yellow gas at normal temperature and pressure, but is usually compressed and cooled for storage and shipping.

When chlorine is inhaled, ingested, or in contact with the skin, it reacts with water to produce acids that destroy cells in the body.

Inhaling high levels of chlorine causes fluid to build up in the lungs – a life-threatening condition known as pulmonary edema.

The southern shore of Aqaba was reportedly evacuated after the accident.

Local media showed civil defense personnel and paramedics rushing to the site of the leak, wearing masks.

The injured were transferred to two government hospitals, a private facility and a field hospital.

Aqaba’s director of health, Jamal Obeidat, said hospitals were full and the injured were in a “moderate to critical condition”.

State TV reported that Jordanian Prime Minister Bishr Al-Khasawneh was on his way to Aqaba.

She said that someone had formed an investigation team to look into the incident, headed by the Minister of Interior.

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