At least 13 dead and 250 injured in chlorine gas explosion at Jordan's Aqaba port

A chlorine gas tank exploded after it fell off a crane in the port of Aqaba. Credit: Al-Mamlaka TV via AP

At least 13 people have died and around 250 have been injured in a toxic gas leak from a storage tank at Jordan’s Aqaba port, authorities have said.

The leak on Monday came after a tank filled with 25 tonnes of chlorine gas being exported to Djibouti, in east Africa, fell while being transported, according to officials.

Video footage aired by state-run media outlets shows dockworkers scrambling to safety after an explosion of yellow smoke spreads across the ground.

Dr Jamal Obeidat, a local health official, urged people to stay inside and close windows and doors, with state media reporting that 199 of the injured were being treated at local hospitals.

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Prime Minister Bisher al-Khasawneh arrived at Aqaba, state TV reported, before heading to a hospital where some of the injured were being cared for.

The Public Security Directorate said authorities have sealed off the area and sent specialists in to deal with the leak.

State-run Jordan TV said 13 people were killed in the tragedy.

Aqaba - a southern port city in Jordan - 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 monitoring developments closely.