Government announce results of investigation into the Aqaba port incident

[04-07-2022 09:32 AM]

Ammon News - Interior Minister Mazen Faraya Sunday said the fact-finding committee into the Aqaba port incident where a gas tank fell off a crane aims to discover the truth and hold the responsible accountable so that such incidents would never happen in the future.

Faraya noted that the committee comprises the Deputy Governor of Aqaba, the commissioner of tourism and environment in the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority, the director of the Aqaba police, the commander of the naval force, the director of Aqaba intelligence, the head of the Aqaba Intelligence Division and the director of Civil Defence Department.

He added that the committee listened to all officials in Aqaba and witnesses and visited hospitals and warehouses of the Aqaba Company for the Management and Operation of Ports.

He told journalists in Amman that the direct cause of the Aqaba accident was the "inappropriateness" of the capacity of the metal wire used for the weight of the container’s load, estimated at three times the bearing capacity of the wire, which led to the occurrence of elongation, leading to its fall.

He noted that one of the indirect causes of the accident was the failure to take the necessary precautions for public safety in handling such dangerous materials and not using the official methods of correspondence, which were carried out through social media platforms or orally away from official contact.

Faraya added that the investigation proved that there is recklessness, negligence and indifference on the part of those concerned with dealing with the incident and assigning some tasks to non-specialised employees and that the senior and middle leaders of the Aqaba Ports Management and Operation Company do not have leadership practices.

He added that the investigation proved the responsibility of the general manager of the Aqaba Company for Port Management and Operation, the director of the company's operations department, the head of the unloading and loading department, the Head of the unloading and loading shift, the Head of the ship at the time of the accident and others.

Faraya said Cabinet is disbanding the board of directors of the Aqaba Company for Port Management and Operation.

Regarding the Vietnamese workers killed in the incident, Faraya said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates contacted their embassy and dealt with them by international norms.

He pointed out that the port of Aqaba returned to work a day after the accident.

In turn, the Minister of State for Media Affairs, Faisal Shboul, said that the response of state institutions to the Aqaba incident was immediate and professional.

He noted the diligent follow-up of His Majesty King Abdullah II and HRH Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II, the Crown Prince, of the incident since the moment it occurred, in addition to the fact that Prime Minister Bishr Khasawneh went to Aqaba immediately to find out the causes of the accident and deal with it.

Shaboul added that the hospitals and medical staff in Aqaba proved highly efficient in handling the situation and the effects of the accident, pointing out that the government field hospital, which was designated to treat COVID-19 patients, took in more than 45 per cent of the cases of infection.

He pointed out that eight patients were still in the hospital from the accident.

Responding to a question about air and water safety in Aqaba, Shboul confirmed that the Ministry of Environment, the Royal Scientific Society and the Civil Defence Department conducted tests a day after the incident: they proved their safety.

In response to another question, he noted that referring the report of the Aqaba incident in all its details to the Public Prosecution comes at a time when the Public Prosecution is continuing its legal procedures, noting that three public prosecutors in Aqaba immediately went to the scene of the incident to investigate its circumstances.

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