Dubai: At least 13 people died and 251 were injured after toxic gas leaked from a tanker at the southern port city of Aqaba, Jordan's state television reported on Monday.
Specialised teams were dealing with the leak after a tank filled with toxic gas fell during its transportation, leading to a gas leak at the site, state news agency Petra said, citing the spokesperson of the Public Security Directorate.
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 deal with the leak. Medical supplies were rushed to the site.
State-run Al Mamlaka TV said 199 were still being treated in hospitals.
Dr. Jamal Obeidat, a local health official, urged people to stay indoors and close windows and doors. The nearest residential area is 25km away.The governor of Aqaba said civil defence teams have managed to contain the gas leak incident.
Evacuation planes were being sent into Aqaba, state television said. Prime Minister Bisher Al Khasawneh was headed to Aqaba, state TV reported.
Al Khasawneh also formed an investigation team into the incident chaired by the interior minister, state TV cited the information minister as saying.
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.-- With inputs from agencies