Several Officials Sacked After Deadly Gas Leak in Jordan

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Several officials sacked after deadly gas leak in Jordan

Experts investigate the fall of a container in the port of Aqaba.

Several senior Jordanian officials have been sacked after a chlorine leak in the port of Aqaba last Monday killed 13 people and injured more than 260, Prime Minister Bisher al-Khasawneh announced on Sunday.

The chlorine leak occurred after a container of liquid gas that was being transported by a crane fell onto a boat, which released a thick yellow cloud.

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

Mr. Khasawneh told a cabinet meeting that the investigation found serious negligence in safety procedures and the handling of hazardous materials at the port of Aqaba.

< p class="e-p">For his part, the Jordanian Minister of the Interior, Mazen al-Faraya, who chaired the commission of inquiry, confirmed during a press conference that negligence on several counts was at work. #x27;cause of the accident.

A surveillance camera captured the scene when the crane cable gave way, dropping a container chlorine gas.

In particular, he pointed to the responsibility of the director general of the Jordanian Maritime Authority, the director general of the company managing and operating the ports of Aqaba as well as two other heads of service of this company.

Officials, according to the investigation, failed to take the necessary precautions for public safety when loading these hazardous materials.< /p>

“The weight of the container was 28.9 tons, three times the cable capacity of 8.6 tons, which resulted in its breakup.

— Mazen al-Faraya, Jordanian Interior Minister

According to him, the investigation proved that certain tasks in the port were assigned to unskilled workers.

In addition, 95% of the approximately 2,300 workers at the port of Aqaba went on strike on Sunday, according to a union leader.

< p class="e-p">They are protesting against security breaches at the port, which have left their colleagues dead and injured, Ahmed Amayreh, head of the port workers' union, told AFP .

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