Aqaba recovers after chlorine gas leak Monday

aqaba leak gas
Jordanian forensics experts and emergency personnel inspect the site of a toxic gas explosion in the Red Sea port of Aqaba on June 28, 2022. A chlorine gas explosion killed 13 people and injured more than 250, authorities said, when a tank that fell from a crane released a poisonous yellow cloud at Jordan's Aqaba port. (Photo: AFP)
AMMAN — Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh said on Tuesday that normalcy has been restored in Aqaba after a chlorine gas leak killed 13 and Caused ver 300 injuries, adding that the leak has been completely contained, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.اضافة اعلان

The premier, who toured the site of the incident, said that the port is operating normally and there is no risk from chlorine gas, which leaked on Monday when a cable carrying a tank of liquefied chlorine onto a ship broke, dropping the tank.

“Life in Aqaba is completely safe. The authorities have confirmed that there are no gas concentrations in the air. We are standing here at the scene of the accident this morning without any safety precautions or even masks,” Khasawneh said.

The premier tasked Minister of Interior Mazen Faraya with leading an investigation into the incident. Faraya announced that as of Tuesday morning work had resumed at the Aqaba Port, with the exception of berth no. 4, which is still not operational until its safety is totally ensured.

Meanwhile, Al-Mamlaka TV reported on Tuesday that the Public Prosecutor launched an investigation into the incident, according to Secretary-General of the Judicial Council and media spokesperson Judge Walid Kanakrieh.

He said that “a team of forensic doctors was formed under the supervision of the Public Prosecutor to conduct medical examinations of the deceased, who were transferred to several hospitals in Aqaba.” Seven bodies were handed over to their families while five others, of foreign nationalities, were transferred to Amman. The remains of one victim were sent to his hometown in Irbid, Kanakrieh said.

Ending speculations about the quality of air and water in Aqaba, Minister of Environment Muawiya Radaydah said that both are free of chlorine gas, adding that no environmental hazards are to be expected as a result of Monday’s leak.

He told Petra that the ministry and other concerned officials tested the air in various areas of the port city, including the quayside and the grain silos area, to ensure it was safe. Sea water samples were also taken and were confirmed to be natural and safe.

The Ministry of Environment will investigate the impact of the accident on the marine environment, which is expected to be limited to the immediate vicinity of the accident site.

Meanwhile, Aqaba Governor Mohammad Al-Rafaa’a said Tuesday that there were no severe cases in the governorate’s hospitals after the gas leak accident in the city’s port.

He said the number of cases still being treated at hospitals dropped to 139, and the number of fatalities remained 13, noting that two patients were evacuated to Amman by an air ambulance.

In related news, Minister of State for Media Affairs Faisal Al-Shboul said on Tuesday, that “the preliminary examinations of the Aqaba grain silos proved that they were not affected by the toxic gas leak incident”; he was quoted by AmmanNet as saying that “the silos are far from where the accident happened”.

Also on Tuesday, the Public Security Directorate announced that 25 of those injured in Monday’s incident, including police, civil defense, and gendarmerie personnel, have left the hospital after receiving treatment.

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