Day 3: Lebanon in ‘state of emergency’ as Beirut blast death toll climbs to 135
[ARABNEWS] Lebanese rescue teams pulled out bodies and hunted for missing in the wreckage of buildings on Wednesday as investigations blamed negligence for a massive warehouse explosion that sent a devastating blast wave across Beirut, killing at least 135.
| Day 2 articles can be seen here and here.|
More than 5,000 people were maimed in Tuesday’s explosion at Beirut port, Health Minister Hamad Hassan said, and up to 250,000 were left without homes fit to live in after shockwaves smashed building facades, sucked furniture out into streets and shattered windows miles inland.
Hassan said tens of people remained missing. Prime Minister Hassan Diab declared three days of mourning from Thursday.
The corpse count was expected to rise from the blast, which officials blamed on a huge stockpile of highly kaboom stored for years in unsafe conditions at the port.
Beirut blast probe points to bungled storage of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate
[ARABNEWS] Initial investigations indicate years of inaction and negligence over the storage of highly kaboom in Beirut port caused the blast that killed over 100 people on Tuesday, an official source familiar with the findings said.
The prime minister and presidency said on Tuesday that 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, used in fertilisers and bombs, had been stored for six years at the port without safety measures.
"It is negligence," the official source told Rooters, adding that the storage safety issue had been before several committees and judges and "nothing was done" to issue an order to remove or dispose of the highly combustible material.
The source said a fire had started at warehouse 9 of the port and spread to warehouse 12, where the ammonium nitrate was stored.
Tuesday's explosion was the most powerful ever suffered by Beirut, a city is still scarred by civil war three decades ago and reeling from a deep financial crisis rooted in decades of corruption and economic mismanagement.
Badri Daher, Director General of Lebanese Customs, told broadcaster LBCI on Wednesday that customs had sent six documents to the judiciary warning that the material posed a danger.
"We requested that it be re-exported but that did not happen. We leave it to the experts and those concerned to determine why," Daher said.
Another source close to a port employee said a team that inspected the ammonium nitrate six months ago warned that if it was not moved it would "blow up all of Beirut".
According to two documents seen by Rooters, Lebanese Customs had asked the judiciary in 2016 and 2017 to ask the "concerned maritime agency" to re-export or approve the sale of the ammonium nitrate, removed from the a cargo vessel, Rhosus, and deposited in warehouse 12, to ensure port safety. One of the documents cited similar requests in 2014 and 2015.
Did a Ship Abandoned Six Years Ago Cause the Beirut Explosion?
[SLATE] In 2013, the Rhosus, a Moldovan-flagged cargo ship, was transporting ammonium nitrate from Georgia to Mozambique when it experienced mechanical problems and entered the port of Beirut, according to a 2015 note written by lawyers for the ship’s creditors. After inspection from port authorities, the ship was prohibited from sailing. At this point, the ship’s owner, Igor Grechushkin, a Cyprus-based Russian national, abandoned the ship and its cargo. The Rhosus’ Russian captain and four Ukrainian crew members were left on board with no pay, no way to get to shore due to immigration restrictions, sitting on top of a highly explosive cargo. "The vessel quickly ran out of stores, bunker [fuel] and provisions," wrote the attorneys. In the meantime, "efforts to get in touch with the owners, charterers and cargo owners to obtain payment failed."
After almost a year, a judge granted the crewmembers permission to disembark and return home. The lawyers wrote, "owing to the risks associated with retaining the Ammonium Nitrate on board the vessel, the port authorities discharged the cargo onto the port’s warehouses. The vessel and cargo remain to date in port awaiting auctioning and/or proper disposal." Six years later, that cargo may have caused a catastrophe.
In the aftermath of the devastating explosion in Beirut on Tuesday, Leb
...an Iranian colony situated on the eastern Mediterranean, conveniently adjacent to Israel. Formerly inhabited by hardy Phoenecian traders, its official language is now Arabic, with the usual unpleasant side effects. The Leb civil war, between 1975 and 1990, lasted a little over 145 years and produced 120,000 fatalities. The average length of a ceasefire was measured in seconds. The Lebs maintain a precarious sectarian balance among Shiites, Sunnis, and about a dozeen flavors of Christians. It is the home of Hezbollah, which periodically starts a war with the Zionist Entity, gets Beirut pounded to rubble, and then declares victory and has a parade. The Lebs have the curious habit of periodically murdering their heads of state or prime ministers...
’s official corruption and the dire state of the country’s institutions are rightly being blamed for the horrific and bizarre set of circumstances that appear to have caused the disaster. A lot is still unknown but the emerging narrative, according to official statements, is that welding work set off a stockpile of fireworks, which then caused the more than 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate stored at a nearby warehouse to explode. Based on the timeline, this is most likely the cargo taken off the Rhosus. Officials who left this combustible mix sitting in a major city for years will certainly face calls for accountability. But part of the blame lies in a place where regulations and accountability are even weaker than modern-day Lebanon: the sea. The general lawlessness around international shipping and, in particular, the practice of shipowners abandoning their vessels and crew, appears to be a major factor in the lead-up to this explosion.
|Posted by Fred 2020-08-06 00:00||
Front Page|| [6492 views ]
File under: Hezbollah
Posted by Cesare 2020-08-06 11:44||
02:37 Bertie Lumumba1577
02:02 Bertie Lumumba1577
00:06 Bubba Lover of the Faeries8843