Anger and frustration grow in Beirut when officials admit it the catastrophic explosion that took place on Tuesday afternoon in the port city with 135 dead and thousands injured, was predictable and had been the subject of repeated warnings.
With the Lebanese capital counted its wounds, a series of documents linked the blast to a huge amount of ammonium nitrate which has also been described as a “liquid bomb” and stored in the port since 2014.
Just six months ago, officials inspecting all stored goods warned that if he did not leave, he could “blow up the whole of Beirut.”
The revelation that the government’s neglect may have played a role in the worst explosion in Beirut history has led to a new wave of revolt against Lebanese politicians, as people are already in an economic crisis that has plunged half the country into poverty. .
Protesters in central Beirut attacked a convoy of vehicles transporting the former prime minister and collided with his bodyguards, the clearest sign of widespread anger against Lebanese politicians after the disaster.
Promise of a “transparent investigation”
President Michel Aoun promised a transparent investigation with the first investigations showing years of negligence and inaction in the port of Beirut, where the lethal amounts of ammonia nitrate that triggered “Hiroshima in Lebanon” were stored.
At the same time, All officials in the port of Beirut were placed under house arrest who were responsible for the storage and security of materials in the port.
It is unclear how many officials will be affected by the decision or their level of seniority in these positions. The military will monitor the house arrest until responsibility for the massive explosion in the harbor is determined yesterday, sources added.
Italy sends firefighters specializing in chemical risk assessment
Fourteen firefighters, who specialize in assessing chemical hazards and infrastructure damage following explosions, were sent by Italy to Beirut today, according to an official source.
The team left Pisa in the afternoon to “provide technical support for chemical and bacteriological hazards” but also to assess the condition of the buildings, the Italian Civil Protection Service said in a statement.
Rome has responded to a request for international assistance from the Lebanese government. Firefighters have special equipment at their disposal that detects hazardous substances in the environment, the Italian service added.
More than 130 people have been killed in two massive explosions in the port of Beirut, while thousands have been injured and hundreds homeless. The fate of dozens of people is still ignored.
On Tuesday night, a few hours after the tragedy, Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab appealed to “all friends and sister countries” to help his country.
With information from the Guardian, ΑΠΕ – ΜΠΕ