Aqaba container leak cause revealed as port officials dismissed

Eilat Israel, May 04, 2022 The view of a cargo ship in the waters of Jordan from Eilat Israel across the Red Sea

Jordanian authorities have dismissed senior officials at the Port of Aqaba following the deaths of 13 people at the port last week.

An investigation into the catastrophic chlorine gas leak that injured hundreds found there were “negligence and major deficiencies” in safety protocols, Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh said on 3 July.

On 27 June a tank filled with 25 tons of chlorine gas due to head to Djibouti fell whilst being transported.

Jordanian state TV imagery depicted a crane hoisting the tank from a truck, the tank falling and exploding onto the deck of a ship.

The government cabinet fired the Director General of the state-owed Aqaba Company for Ports Operation & Management amongst other senior members.

Interior Minister Mazin al Farrayeh said on 3 July that the results of the investigation will be handed to the public prosecutor.

Farrayeh added that the cause of the incident was a lack of conformity in the metallic cable compared to the weight of the cargo, resulting in a breakage of the cable.

The investigation noted that some port officials delegated tasks to untrained personnel.

Some eight Jordanians and five Vietnamese port workers were killed in the incident.

The Jordanian king has called for transparency behind the leak.

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