BEIRUT (Reuters) – A major fire erupted at the port of Beirut on Thursday, after a major explosion engulfed parts of the Lebanese capital in a week of smoke, as the explosion devastated the port and a part of the city Was devastated.
The explosion began in a broken duty-free area of the port, prompting some residents to flee the city following the explosion last month.
Army helicopters dropped water to overcome the fire, to control the fire. By night, officials said most of the fire was extinguished. Smoke was still rising from the smoldering debris but it was much less dense.
The veins are already tied to the edge. The city is recovering from the August 4 port explosion and the nation is struggling with a deep economic crisis that poses the greatest threat to Lebanon’s stability since the 1975–1990 civil war.
“Sure we were scared, it’s only a month since the explosion destroyed Beirut. We saw the same thing again,” said 53-year-old Andre Murabs, who sooted vehicles and buildings in parts of the capital and After the ashes freeze.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun said at a meeting of the Supreme Defense Council about the explosion that the fire could be the result of sabotage, technical error or negligence, and that the cause was quickly exposed.
Many Lebanese are disappointed that they have not yet been told of any preliminary findings from last month’s port explosion investigation that killed about 190 and injured 6,000.
Officials said no one was injured in Thursday’s fire, although some suffered from shortness of breath.
A source in the Supreme Defense Council said that the port chief told the council in a report that the fire was caused by repair work. The source said the storage of flammable items, including food items, by aid agencies fell on warehouses, the source said, adding that the military police would investigate.
A security source also blamed welding work for the blaze before the August 4 explosion.
The International Committee of the Red Cross, based in Geneva, said it had assistance with the fire warehouse. “The risk of our human operation is to be seriously hampered,” ICRC Middle East director Fabrizio Carboni wrote on Twitter.
The port of Beirut is used by aid agencies to provide refugees in Lebanon and people in neighboring Syria in need.
A military source said Thursday’s blasts began when cooking oil caught fire and spread to tire stores. Television footage showed flames near a pile of tires in a warehouse devastated by last month’s explosion.
49-year-old Majid Hasanin was taking his wife and two children out of the capital by car during the height of the explosion. “I am forced to smoke them out of Beirut and out of the fire that happens at the port again,” he said.
He said his son was still shocked by the explosion that devastated one of the capital’s health and left nearly 300,000 people in Beirut homes without habitable homes and shattered windows.
Carmen Giha, an activist and assistant professor at the American University of Beirut, said the fire is evidence of mismanagement by a ruling elite who have dragged the nation into crisis after years of corruption and poor governance.
“It’s a felony, gross negligence and gross arrogance,” she said. “You can’t trust them to manage anything.”
Firefighters were shown on television the fire that surrounded the remains of warehouses destroyed in last month’s explosion, caused by a store of ammonium nitrate kept in poor condition at the port for years.
Reporting by journalists from Ala Kanan, Tom Perry and Reuters; Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by John Boyle, Toby Chopra, Philip Fletcher and Lisa Shumaker