Jordan investigates chlorine leak that killed 13 and injured 260

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Jordan investigates chlorine leak that killed 13 and injured 260

A surveillance camera captured the scene when a crane cable broke and dropped a container of chlorine gas in the port of Aqaba.

Jordanian experts investigate Tuesday at the port of Aqaba, in southern Jordan, the day after 13 people died in an accident caused by the fall of a container which leaked chlorine , a poisonous gas.

The city of Aqaba, located in the gulf of the same name, is located on the Israeli border, about fifteen kilometers north of the x27;Saudi Arabia.

A judicial source told AFP on Tuesday that the public prosecutor and a team of forensic experts are examining and collecting samples and evidence at the scene of the accident.

Earlier, Prime Minister Bisher al-Khasawneh, who visited the port, told the press that he instructed Interior Minister General Mazen al- Faraya, to lead the accident investigation.

Jordanian Prime Minister Bisher al-Khasawneh speaks to reporters at the scene of the explosion.

He added that the port was back to normal, assuring that he there was no longer any concentration of gas in the air.

According to an official report, 13 people – eight Jordanians and five foreigners – died of asphyxiation and 260 were injured, dozens of whom were still hospitalized.

Among the injured, Assadallah al-Jazi, 25, an employee of a chemical fertilizer company, recounts under his respiratory mask the first moments of the accident.

“We did not hear an explosion, but we smelled toxic material and saw a yellow cloud. Then there were people choking.

— Crash victim Assadallah al-Jazi

The chlorine leak occurred at the port on Monday afternoon after a container full of liquid chlorine gas fell, according to the government crisis unit.

A partial view shows the white tanker that fell during transshipment, causing toxic gas to leak into the port.

Television footage shows a crane carrying the container, before dropping it over the boat. After the shock, a thick yellow cloud escapes instantly, while people try to flee.

According to the former director of the company responsible for managing the port, some 20 containers of liquefied gas containing a high percentage of chlorine had to be loaded onto the ship.

Aqaba Region Ports Authority Deputy Chief Haj Hassan said a rope moving a container with a toxic substance had broken, which resulted in the fall of the container and the escape of the toxic substance.

According to the head of Tourism and the environment at the Authority of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone, Nidal al-Majali, the [low] wind speed and direction at the scene of the accident helped prevent the spread of the toxic material.

King Abdullah II offered his sincere condolences to the families of the victims of this tragic accident, according to a statement from the royal palace.

He demanded a transparent explanation of what he happened, highlighting the need to take action to prevent such accidents from happening in the future.

Experts are investigating the circumstances surrounding the fall of the container in the port of Aqaba.

Port activities resumed on Tuesday, with the exception of Pier 4, where the accident took place, to be able to ensure that the place is completely safe, said the Minister of the Interior.

Aqaba, one of the main ports on the Red Sea, is the only sea entrance to the Hashemite Kingdom, through which most imports and Jordanian exports. The city of Aqaba is additionally an important seaside resort.

According to the World Health Organization, chlorine is corrosive to the eyes, skin and respiratory system.

Interviewed by AFP, Dr. Mahmoud Al -Dwairi, who works for the consulting company Scientific Business Solutions, explains that this gas is very dangerous for health and the environment and reacts very quickly in case of contact with water.

Inhaling it can cause death. Chlorine is also very toxic to aquatic organisms.

Wounded admitted to hospitals in Aqaba mainly suffer from respiratory problems.

All the cases are alike, suffering from shortness of breath, strong cough and dizziness, explained to AFP doctor Rouba Aamawi of the Islamic Hospital in Aqaba which received 70 wounded.< /p>

On the other hand, the silo manager at the port, Imad Tarawneh, indicated that the movement of containers was stopped for two days to ensure that x27; they were made of concrete and hermetically sealed.

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