VIDEO: Deadly chlorine gas explosion in port of Aqaba
A poisonous chlorine gas explosion at the port of Aqaba in Jordan is said to have killed at least 13 people and injured 250.
It happened after a tank filled with 25 tonnes of chlorine being exported to Djibouti fell while being transported.
Footage shows a storage tank falling from a winch and slamming into the deck of a ship, followed by bright yellow-coloured gas rising into the air.
The Civil Defence service says that specialised teams were scrambled to deal with the gas, and planes were being sent to evacuate people from Aqaba.
The escaping gas sent plumes of bright yellow smoke into the air – and threatened to spread not only across Aqaba’s 188,000 people but also the 50,000 who live in neighbouring Eilat, Israel.
According to Reuters, Jordan’s Aqaba grain silos halted work to allow inspection of its grains and for any signs of contamination, but maritime traffic at Aqaba ports continues.
There were no vessels unloading any grains cargo at the time of the incident.
Chlorine is a widely used disinfectant and water purification agent, but if inhaled, the gas turns to hydrochloric acid, which can lead to internal burning and drowning through a reactionary release of water in the lungs, says Sky News.
The explosion is one of Jordan’s worst accidents in recent years.