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August 16 2022 12:45 AM ˚
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Aqaba top port officials sacked

Findings of investigation into Aqaba incident referred to Chief Public Prosecutor

Minister of Interior Mazen Al-Faraya speaks at a press conference at the Prime Ministry on July 3, 2022. (Photo: Ameer Khalifeh/JNews)
Minister of Interior Mazen Al-Faraya speaks at a press conference at the Prime Ministry on July 3, 2022. (Photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
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AMMAN — Minister of Interior Mazen Al-Faraya said Sunday that the direct cause of the chlorine gas leak in Aqaba was an overburdened cable used to lift the tank. The tank, containing liquefied chorine, was three times heavier than the carrying capacity of the cable, the minister said at a press conference held at the Prime Ministry.اضافة اعلان

The investigation into the incident was referred to the Public Prosecutor, who will take the necessary legal action.

At least 20 tonnes of chlorine escaped when the cable snapped on a crane loading the tank onto a ship, sending it crashing to the ground on the dockside.

The force of the fall punctured the pressurized container, enveloping the vessel in a bright yellow gas. Thirteen people, including eight Jordanians were killed, and another 250 were injured in the June 29 incident.

The minister said that the initial investigation had proved that safety measures for handling dangerous materials at the New Aqaba Port had been flaunted.

Faraya said that the Cabinet had approved the termination of the directors general of the Jordanian Maritime Authority and the Aqaba Company for Ports Operation and Management, as well as a number of other officials at the company.

The Cabinet also dissolved the Aqaba Company for Ports Operation and Management’s board of directors, which will be reconstituted at a later date.

“The investigation proved the responsibility of the general manager of the Aqaba Company for Ports Operation and Management, the director of the company’s operations department, the head of the unloading and loading department, the head of the unloading and loading shift, and the captain of the ship at the time of the accident, among others,” Faraya told reporters.
The tank, containing liquefied chorine, was three times heavier than the carrying capacity of the cable. ...
Investigators also determined that certain tasks had been assigned to insufficiently specialized staff, which led to “recklessness” and “negligence”, he said.

The investigation committee sought to achieve three goals, according to the minster. Firstly, establish the truth behind the events; secondly, identify negligent parties and recommend appropriate punishments; and thirdly, identify weaknesses in the system and present recommendations to address them, according to Faraya.

Additionally, the committee sought to reassure the public that the state was tackling the issue seriously to prevent similar incidents in the future, he said.

The committee also inspected hospitals, warehouses belonging to the port operator, and the container port itself, the minister said.

It also questioned company officials, as well as everyone concerned with container handling, public safety, and equipment, he said, adding that the committee had also accepted expert testimonies as it deemed appropriate.

Furthermore, the Department of Criminal Evidence and Laboratories submitted a technical report on the incident.

The Aqaba investigation committee comprised the deputy governor of Aqaba, a rapporteur, the chief commissioner of the Tourism and Environment in the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority, Aqaba’s police director, the commander of the Royal Jordanian Navy, the director of intelligence for Aqaba, and the director of the Civil Defense Department.


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