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Israel offers help to Jordan after horrific Chlorine gas explosion

Israeli on Monday offered assistance to Jordan following a chlorine gas explosion that killed 13 and injured at least 251. The death toll is expected to rise.

The accident took place leak Aqaba Port on the Red Sea Monday as a tank filled with 25 tons of chlorine for export to Djibouti exploded after falling from a crane, according to Reuters.

The Israeli defense establishment “is ready to assist in any way necessary,” said Defense Minister Benny Gantz in a statement, adding that the offer has been transferred “to our Jordanian friends.”

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Gantz also tweeted his condolences to Jordan, saying, “Our hearts and thoughts are with those killed and we pray for the recovery of the injured.”

Jordanian state television tweeted a video of the storage tank falling and slamming into a ship deck, sending a cloud of yellowish gas rising into the air. People could be seen fleeing the scene on foot.

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 vessel had been waiting to load almost 20 containers of liquified gas “containing a very high percentage of chlorine” adding 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.”

When inhaled, chlorine turns into hydrochloric acid, which can lead to internal burns, as well as drowning through a reactionary release of water in the lungs, according to the report. Most of those who died would have suffered excruciating pain and the sensation of drowning.

Israel and Jordan share a peace treaty with Israel providing tens of millions of dollars in aid to its Arab neighbor each year. Israel currently provides electricity and water to Jordan and the two share intelligence in an effort to stop Palestinian, Al Qaeda, and Isis terrorist attacks.

–Dwight Widaman and JNS

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