REPORT: Crane Drops Tank With Poisonous Gas, At Least 13 Dead And Hundreds Injured

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Mary Rooke Commentary and Analysis Writer
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A crane operating in the port of Aqaba, Jordan, dropped a tank holding poisonous chlorine gas, killing and injuring several people Monday.

A senior health official said the deadly chlorine gas explosion killed at least 13 people and injured 250, reported Sky News.

General Security Directorate spokesman, Amer Al Sartawi, said the crane dropped the tank during transportation, releasing the chlorine gas, according to The National News. (RELATED: Russian Hackers May Have Blown Up A Massive Natural Gas Facility In Texas: REPORT)

Footage of the incident posted to Twitter shows a crane unloading the tank off the ship. The crane loses its grip, causing it to drop to the ground and explode in a sea of yellow gas. The footage also shows some port workers running away.

The deadly chlorine gas explosion forced shipping to stop in Aqaba — Jordan’s only port — and authorities evacuated nearby beaches, The National News reported.

Aqaba Gov. Mohammad Al Radayaa said the port’s explosion “has been controlled,” but the Aqaba Health Department head Jamal Obeidat is still recommending people take shelter inside, according to the outlet. “We advise citizens in Aqaba to stay indoors and close the windows,” Obeidat said. “This gas is critical.”

Officials said the gas tanker was holding 25 tonnes (27.56 tons) of chlorine gas, reported The National News.

Information Minister Faisal Al Shboul said the government scrambled to set up a field hospital and medical equipment. The government also sent at least one plane to the city to complete medical evacuations, the National News reported.