Death toll in toxic Jordan port blast rises to 13

State-run Jordan TV says the death toll in an explosion of toxic gas has risen to 13 killed. Al-Mamlaka TV, another official outlet, says 199 were still being treated in hospitals. The Public Security Directorate says a total of 251 people were injured.

The deputy chief of the Aqaba Region Ports Authority, Haj Hassan, tells Al-Mamlaka that an “iron rope carrying a container containing a toxic substance broke, resulting in the fall and escape of the poisonous substance.”

The channel also cites the former head of the company that operates the port, Mohammed al-Mubaidin, as saying that a vessel had been waiting to load almost 20 containers of liquified gas “containing a very high percentage of chlorine.”

He nonetheless adds that the gas is heavy and “it is not easy for its gas clouds to move… as it concentrates in one area and is affected by wind movement.”

Eilat’s emergency services say in a statement that there is no impact on the city, but that they are following the situation closely.

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