Chlorine gas leak kills 12, injures 251 at Jordan port

Reddit thread with video.

What a horrible accident. One wonders what kind of lax equipment standards allowed a pressure vessel to fail in such a spectacular way. The chlorine tank in this video seems to have been in such poor shape it simply shattered/exploded when dropped.

In the USA/Canada thousands of similar-size tanks of chlorine (and ammonia, and propane) are carried by boats, trucks and rail every day. Ammonia tank leaks happen frequently but usually give people enough time to flee before getting to a toxic level. Ammonia ls lighter than air when it warms up after expansion, so it ventilates itself. Chlorine is 3X heaver than air (more so when newly expanded) so it hugs the surface.

We’ve been hauling chlorine tanks like the one in the video for four decades without problem. Common cargo in Alaska/ food processing facilities.

From a Scientific American article from 2011:
The worst chlorine gas accident in the country occurred in 2005, when 18 freight train cars derailed and released 120,000 pounds of chlorine gas in the mill town of Graniteville, S.C. Nine people were killed and at least 1,400 people were exposed, resulting in more than 550 people treated at hospitals, including some with serious lung injuries. More than 5,000 people were evacuated from their homes.

From what I can see in the video, it is not a failure of the ISO Tank. One of the four wire legs from the hook to the spreader parted and that precipitated the tank’s fall. A fall of 5 or 6 meters is enough to rupture any ISO Tank. So, it seems to be a failure of the cargo gear.

Additionally, although from the perspective of the video camera it might not be correct, it also seems that the shore crane had been lowering the jib, then stopped booming-down just before the wire gear parted. That might have been an additional factor, i.e., the acceleration by the stopped booming-down. Although it was minor, it might have been what tipped the rupturing force past the wire’s structural resistance.

What’s particularly galling is, if you look at the left side of the screen, is that while everyone is hightailing it “outta Dodge”, a “tourist” is actually walking into the orange cloud.