At least 10 people are reported dead and hundreds injured after a gas cylinder was dropped and exploded while being loaded onto a ship at Jordan’s Aqaba port, according to media reports.
Video of the incident shows an ISO cylinder reportedly containing 25 tonnes of chlorine fell as it was being loaded by a shoreside crane onto a ship, causing an explosion of yellow gas that quickly engulfed the ship and pier.
A Jordanian government spokesperson told the AFP that the death toll has risen to ten. Another spokesperson said more than 200 people were injured, while other reports are saying over 250 people injured. An updated count said 12 dead, 251 injured.
The ship appears to be the Hong Kong-flagged MV Forest 6, a multi-purpose cargo and heavy lift vessel built in 2021.
Officials said the cylinder contained 25 tonnes of chlorine destined for Djibouti.
The Port of Aqaba is strategically located on the northeastern tip of the Red Sea and is only seaport in Jordan.
Chlorine is widely used to disinfect surfaces and purify water but, when inhaled the gas turns to hydrochloric acid, which can cause internal burning and drowning through a release of fluids in the lungs.
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