Toxic gas leak at Jordan port kills more than a dozen, injures hundreds

Amman: A poisonous gas leak in Jordan’s southern port city of Aqaba has killed at least 13 people and injured some 250, authorities said.

Video carried by state-run media outlets showed a crane hoisting a large tanker from a truck and then dropping it on the deck of a ship, causing an explosion of yellow smoke and sending dockworkers racing away.

Screenshot of a video showing the explosion in the southern port city of Aqaba.Credit:Twitter – @AlMamlakaTV

The Public Security Directorate on Monday (Jordan time) said a gas tank sprung a leak while being transported. It did not identify the contents of the tanker.

The directorate said authorities sealed off the area after evacuating the injured to hospitals and sent specialists in to address the situation.

State-run Jordan TV said 13 people were killed. Al-Mamlaka TV, another official outlet, said 199 were still being treated in hospitals. The Public Security Directorate said a total of 251 people were injured.

Dr Jamal Obeidat, a local health official, urged people to stay inside and close windows and doors. The nearest residential area is 25 kilometres away.

Aqaba is on the northern tip of the Red Sea, next to the Israeli city of Eilat, which is just across the border. Both are popular beach and diving destinations.

Eilat’s emergency services said in a statement that there was no impact on the city but that they were following the situation closely.

AP

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