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Massive yellow cloud of toxic chemical kills 13, injures hundreds

An accident at the Aqaba port in Jordan resulted in a crane dropping a chlorine gas tank, which ruptured and led to 13 deaths.

Published Jun 29, 2022 8:32 AM CDT   |   Updated Sun, Jul 24 2022 7:33 AM CDT

A video shared by Jordanian state media shows security camera footage of the devastating incident.

A crane on the docks in the Aqaba port in south Jordan was loading tanks containing chlorine gas onto a cargo ship on Monday, June 27th, 2022, picking them up from trucks queuing up with additional tanks to be loaded. The container dropped from the crane as it was being loaded onto the ship, causing yellow chlorine gas to explode in massive plumes, covering the ship and the docks.

The tanks contained liquid chlorine, created by pressurizing and cooling chlorine. However, the tank rupturing upon impact with the ship allowed the poisonous gas to rapidly form and spread, causing dock personnel to flee on foot. The gas, used during World War I for chemical warfare, causes pain, difficulty breathing, and fluid in the lungs. In households, chlorine is useful in creating bleach and sanitizing things like water.

Thirteen people died due to the accident, and about two hundred were hospitalized. Jordanian Prime Minister Bisher al-Khasawneh has since commissioned an investigation to determine the cause of the accident.

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