Chlorine gas leak in at least 300 injured south of Iraq


Baghdad-At least 300 people were injured in a chlorine gas leak at a waterworks in southern Iraq, officials said Monday.

The incident took place on Sunday night when a potentially deadly gas leaked from a container at a plant in the Karatskkar district north of the southern city of Nasiriyah.

Hundreds of people suffering from severe dyspnea due to exposure to chlorine were taken to a nearby hospital, said Abbas Jaber, deputy governor of Dhi Qar Governor.

He said a committee was formed by the governor on Monday to investigate the situation surrounding the leak. “Negligence (officials) will be held liable,” he said.

Dhi Qar is one of the poorest and historically most developed states in Iraq. Residents are dissatisfied with the lack of electricity and access to drinking water. It is a hotbed of anti-government protests, and many young people from the state participated in the largest protests in 2019 in Iraq’s modern history.

Public security dangers have previously hit poor cities. Last year, a fire broke out at the Al Hussein Teaching Hospital in Nasiriyah, killing more than 90 people, patients and health care workers. Authorities blamed the lack of security measures and negligence.

By Qassim Abdul-Zahra

Associated Press