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Toxic chemical explosion in port

A security camera captured the moment a consignment of chlorine was dropped, releasing a dead gas cloud.

At least 13 people died and an estimated 250 people fell ill following the industrial accident at Jordan port.

The tank was dropped by a crane loading it onto a shop in Aqaba earlier today.

State TV broadcast the moment dockworkers were sent fleeing for their lives as the thick yellow cloud rolled towards them.

The Public Security Directorate, which initially described it as a gas leak, said authorities sealed off the area after evacuating the injured and sent specialists in.

State-run Jordan TV said 13 people were killed, while Al-Mamlaka TV, another official outlet, said 199 were still being treated in hospitals.

Dr. Jamal Obeidat, a local health official, urged people to stay inside and close windows and doors.

CCTV footage broadcasted by Jordanian TV shows the moment the toxic gas explosion happened (Picture: AFP)
A partial view shows the tank that fell while being transported and causing a toxic gas leak in Jordan's Aqaba port, on June 27, 2022. - Footage on state TV showed a large cylinder plunging from a crane on a moored vessel, causing a violent explosion of yellow gas. The government spokesman urged citizens not to approach the site of the accident, adding that medical reinforcements were being sent to Aqaba. (Photo by AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)
The tanker containing the dangerous chemical dropped from a crane as it was being loaded onto a ship (Picture: AFP)

Aqaba is on the northern tip of the Red Sea, next to the Israeli city of Eilat, which is just across the border. Both are popular beach and diving destinations.

Eilat’s emergency services said in a statement that there was no impact on the city but that they were following the situation closely.

Operations at the port were paused while checks were carried out on nearby silos holding grain reserves.

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