Twelve people are killed and 251 others injured by a toxic gas leak in the port of Aqaba, Jordan.
The Port of Aqaba is Jordan’s only port, and located about 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) south of the city of Aqaba, a popular tourist destination within the country. On 27 June 2022, a toxic gas leak occurred at the Port of Aqaba, Jordan, when a container carrying 25 tons of chlorine fell from a crane onto a docked ship and ruptured. The incident killed at least fourteen people and injured more than 265.
A crane was loading one of several pressurized chemical storage containers onto a container ship for export to Djibouti. The crane’s cabling system failed, and one container, containing about 25 tones (55,000 lb) of chlorine fell onto the ship and ruptured, causing the chloride to burst from the container. The gas then spread throughout the port as people ran away. According to Haj Hassan, deputy chief of the Aqaba Region Ports Authority, an “iron rope carrying a container containing a toxic substance broke, resulting in the fall and escape of the poisonous substance”. The ship was waiting to load an additional 20 containers with high percentage chlorine. The port was immediately evacuated while first responders worked to give medical attention to affected dock workers. The injured were transported to two state hospitals, a field hospital, and private facility. Aqaba health director Jamal Obeidat said that Aqaba hospitals were full and that the “injured people are in medium to critical condition”. Though the port was far from the main city, and slow winds prevented the gas from spreading, city health official took precaution and instructed residents to close their windows and stay inside.
Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz offered assistance saying “The Israeli defense establishment is ready to assist with any effort, by any means necessary.”