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Huge Fire At Beirut Port Just One Month After Catastrophic Explosion

by : Emma Rosemurgey on : 10 Sep 2020 12:40
Huge Fire At Beirut Port Just One Month After Catastrophic ExplosionLarissaAounSky/Aya_Majzoub/Twitter

A huge fire has broken out at the same Beirut port where a deadly explosion took place last month.

Horrifying footage posted to social media shows the extent of the devastating blaze taking hold in the city.

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Aya Majzoub, Lebanon and Bahrain Researcher at Human Rights Watch, tweeted, ‘Insane fire at the port, causing a panic all across Beirut. We just can’t catch a break.’

‘This is the Beirut port right now. The nightmare continues. Open all your windows and stay away from them,’ another Twitter user wrote, posting a video of workers running for their lives while the flames continue to engulf the wreckage left behind from last month’s deadly explosion.

So far, there have been no reports of casualities or injuries, according to the Lebanese Red Cross.

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In a statement, the organisation’s president said, ‘There are no fears of an explosion, and no injuries, except for some cases of shortness of breath.’

Local journalist Timour Azhari tweeted an update from firefighters working on the site.

He said the fire is currently not under control, and firefighters do not suspect the presence of any explosive material, although they’re unable to rule it out this stage.

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There are currently reports that the fire could have been caused by welding work being done at a warehouse holding tires and oil.

It comes after a warehouse based on the port exploded on August 4, causing the deaths of 190 people and injuring hundreds more. The explosion is believed to have been caused when more than 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate – the ingredient used in fertiliser bombs – exploded after a fire was sparked by a welder.

Just under a week later, on August 10, Lebanon’s entire government stepped down, following nationwide protests sparked by the handling of the deadly explosion.

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Fresh fury was created when it was revealed that President Michel Aoun had known that the warehouse contained dangerous explosives, yet no efforts were made to store them in a more secure and safe location.

Lebanon Explosion BeirutPA Images

The head of the port of Beirut and the head of the customs authority, Badri Daher, both claimed they had written to the judiciary several times asking that the chemical be exported or sold on, but Daher said ‘this did not happen’.

He added, ‘We leave it to the experts and those concerned to determine why.’

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Lebanon was already struggling as a nation due to a severe financial crisis, with food prices soaring and many families left to starve. Some parts of the country were even seeing as many as 20 power cuts a day as a result of chronic fuel shortages, long before the explosion destroyed hundreds of homes.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

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Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.

Topics: News, Beirut, Fire, Lebanon, Now