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4 Jul 2022

Jordan: Workers at Aqaba Port strike over negligence in safety measures & low pay after deadly gas leak

On 27 June 2022, a winch dropped a storage tank full of chlorine gas onto the deck of a ship in Jordan's Aqaba port, resulting in a toxic gas leak. The accident led to the death of 13 people, including 5 Vietnamese workers, and injured 260 others.

Workers at Aqaba Company for Ports went on strike the next day, demanding better safety standards and increased pay. Workflow disruptions are expected during the strike period, and authorities will deploy security forces to monitor the protests. 95 percent of the 2,300 Aqaba port employees, according to union representative Ahmed Amayreh, participated in the strike. He also confirmed that the striking port workers' demand for officials to ensure the the implementation of proper safety measures.

A few days later, Jordan's prime minister Bisher Khasawneh commissioned an official investigation into the cause of the accident which showed "great deficiency and negligence in safety measures for dealing with hazardous materials in the Aqaba port". Several officials were dismissed by Khasawneh as a result of the "negligence' over deadly gas leak incident.