Arab news

Jordan gas leak at Aqaba port kills at least 12 people, injures hundreds

Video from a nearby CCTV camera broadcast by state-owned al-Mamlaka TV showed the container being lifted by a crane before falling, releasing a yellow, gaseous cloud of substance onto a ship and into the port. The video showed people fleeing after the container fell.

“At 4:15 PM on Monday, a chlorine gas leak occurred in the port of Aqaba due to the fall and explosion of a tank containing this substance,” the Center for National Security and Crisis Management (NCSCM) said in a statement.

A PSD spokesperson said a team of hazardous materials experts from the Jordan Civil Defense had been dispatched to the scene. The Jordanian Civil Defense said in a statement that the area was quarantined.

According to Jordanian media minister Faisal Shboul, the toxic spill was “under control” on Monday evening local time and no longer poses any risk, state news agency Petra reported.

Shboul added that authorities disinfected the area and cordoned off the area to prevent further injury.

Footage broadcast on Jordanian state television showed teams dressed in hazmat suits at the scene.

Emergency responders respond to a toxic gas leak in the Jordanian port of Aqaba on Monday.

Eight of those killed are Jordanian, the remaining victims are of different nationalities, according to the government.

123 of the injured are being treated in hospitals. According to the statement made by the Public Security Directorate of the country, 45 of them consist of Public Security, Civil Defense and Gendarmerie Staff First Responders.

Jordanian state television reported that nearby hospitals treating the injured had reached full capacity, citing Jamal Obeidat, head of the Aqaba Health Directorate.

According to al-Mamlaka TV, Obeidat said that field hospitals would be deployed and instructed residents of Aqaba to close their windows and stay indoors.

Planes were also sent to assist with the evacuation.

Aqaba is a popular tourist resort located on the Red Sea. The incident has alarmed many tourists, but Tourism Commissioner Nidal Al Magali said in a statement that the impact of the gas spill was limited due to slow winds.

CNN’s Wayne Chang and Irene Nasser contributed to the reporting.

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