Middle East

Jordan’s chlorine gas leak kills 13 people

Officials said 13 people, including at least four Asian migrants, were killed when toxic chlorine gas fled at the quayside of Aqaba’s Red Sea port in Jordan.
According to the latest updates, more than 250 people were injured in the accident on Monday, of which about 100 were hospitalized.
Most have also had a variety of other industrial uses and have been treated for the respiratory effects of chlorine gas, a common cleaning agent that can be used as a chemical weapon.
“All the injured suffer from similar symptoms, shortness of breath, severe coughing and dizziness,” said Dr. Luba Armawi of the Islamic Hospital in Akaba, who was treating 70 people.
Assadallahal-Jazi, a 25-year-old employee of a fertilizer company, was hurt by some.
“I didn’t hear the explosion. Some people suffocated just by refining something harmful and seeing the yellow smoke,” he said.
The port began to return to normal yesterday and all docks are scheduled to be reopened, with the exception of dock 4, which was scheduled for further safety checks, said Interior Minister Mazenal-Faraya.
“The situation in Aqaba is currently under control,” Prime Minister Bischer al-Kasaune said after visiting the port late Monday.
Chlorine escaped when the cable broke into the crane loading the liquefied gas tank on the ship and collided with the ground on the dockside. A hole was drilled in the container under pressure of the falling force, the cargo ship Forest 6 was wrapped in a bright yellow gas cover, and a closed circuit television image from the harbor was displayed.
The white tank, which had a flat tire and turned yellow from where the gas spouted, stopped at the dock right next to the Forest 6 ship.
According to the Ship Tracking website, the deck cargo ship was built only this year and is sailing under the Hong Kong flag. Yesterday, civil defense forces were seen inspecting the spill site, some wearing chemical protective clothing. Imad Tarawneh, head of grain storage silos at the port, said it would remain closed for two days while health inspectors confirmed that inventory was clean.
He said there is currently no grain carrier in the dock, so there is no impact on port traffic.
“The silo is made of concrete and sealed, but nonetheless, all necessary precautions have been taken and all loading and unloading operations have been stopped,” he said.
Khaled Mayyta, head of Aqaba’s port operations management company, said the grain storage silo is just 600 meters from the spill site on Monday.
“We can’t accept any more cases,” said Aqaba Health Director Jamal Obedat, who said the city’s hospitals were full.
“The injured are in moderate to severe condition,” he added.

http://www.gulf-times.com/story/720151/Chlorine-gas-leak-death-toll-in-Jordan-reaches-13 Jordan’s chlorine gas leak kills 13 people

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