A poisonous gas leak in Jordan’s southern port city of Aqaba on Monday killed at least 13 people and injured some 250, authorities said.
Video carried by state-run media outlets showed a crane hoisting a large tanker from a truck and then dropping it on the deck of a ship, causing an explosion of yellow smoke and sending dock workers racing away.
The Public Security Directorate said a gas tank sprung a leak while being transported. It did not identify the contents of the tanker.
The directorate said authorities sealed off the area after evacuating the injured to hospitals and sent specialists in to address the situation.
The directorate said 13 people were killed and 251 injured. State-run al-Mamlaka TV 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. The nearest residential area is 25 kilometers (15 miles) away.
Ten people died and 251 were injured in a toxic gas leak from a storage tank at the Port of Aqaba in Jordan pic.twitter.com/I3WpayU7Do
— Oman Observer ???????? (@OmanObserver) June 27, 2022
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.
There were no reports of injuries or contamination in Eilat.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz sent his “deepest condolences” to Jordan following the blast and offered to help.
“As we’ve told our friends in Jordan, the Israeli defense establishment is ready to assist with any effort, by any means necessary. Our hearts and thoughts are with the fallen as we pray for a speedy recovery of the wounded,” Gantz said.