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Shocking Moment Crane Drops Poisonous Gas At Port Killing 13 And Injuring Hundreds

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Shocking Moment Crane Drops Poisonous Gas At Port Killing 13 And Injuring Hundreds

Thirteen people have been killed and more than 260 seriously injured after a tank containing a shipment of toxic gas fell from a crate and exploded in a port in Jordan.

Dramatic footage captured from CCTV shows workers lifting the tank onto a cargo ship when the container slips from a hoist as it is lowered toward the deck of the ship and explodes, engulfing the area in plumes of toxic yellow smoke.

Dock workers can be seen attempting to flee the poisonous cloud on foot in the southern port city of Aqaba, while a second truck containing an identical tanker can be seen making a speedy getaway.

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A container exploded, releasing a cloud of chlorine gas. Credit: Almamlaka TV
A container exploded, releasing a cloud of chlorine gas. Credit: Almamlaka TV

According to authorities, the tank contained a shipment of chlorine gas, which is used in a variety of household products, but can be fatal if inhaled in large doses.

If the gas comes into contact with the eyes or skin it can cause burning pains, breathing difficulties and a buildup of fluid in the lungs.

It was most notably used as a nerve agent in World War 1 where its deployment was one of the first documented forms of chemical warfare and earned worldwide condemnation.

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Jordan state media said on Monday night (27 June) 123 of the injured where still being treated in hospital, and some of them were in critical condition.

Credit: Twitter
Credit: Twitter

A receptionist at the Prince Hashem bin Abdullah Military Hospital in Aqaba, said the hospital staff were working hard to provide everyone with proper care.

"All Aqaba hospitals are full... we have enough medical equipment and oxygen supply at hospitals, but there is panic and the relatives of the injured are flocking to hospitals," he told Xinhua News

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Meanwhile a local Aqaba resident says the entire ordeal had been a terrifying experience.

"I am staying home with my wife and two daughters," he said. "We closed the windows and the doors and we are watching the news... we hope this will be solved very soon. It is a tragic incident."

Authorities confirmed the surrounding area had been sealed off following the incident and Dr. Jamal Obeidat, a local health official, urged people to stay inside.

Although the nearest residential area is over 15 miles away, it is impossible to say how far the substance might spread - although Nidal Majali, the local commissioner for tourism and environment, told state media the effects of the gas leak were limited and there was no immediate risk to public health.

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Over 200 people have since been hospitalised following the incident.

Jordanian Prime Minister Bisher al-Khasawneh visited a hospital treating the injured on Monday, praising rescue workers for their speedy response to the incident, which he said reduced the severity of the injuries. 

The prime minister has since commissioned an official investigation into the cause of the accident.

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677 

Featured Image Credit: @BNONews/Twitter

Topics: News

Tom Sanders

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