Lebanon Crisis: Fire breaks out in Zaha Hadid-designed shopping center in Beirut


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AFP

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It was not immediately known what caused the fire at the Beirut Sooks Center.

A fire broke out in a shopping center being built in Beirut, marking the third blast in a week in a city still reeling from a devastating explosion in August.

The firefighters quickly extinguished the flames that damaged one corner of the forged roof of the Beirut Sooks.

There were no reports of injuries and the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.

The building was designed by the practice of the famous late British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid.

Born in Baghdad, Dame Zaha studied mathematics at the American University of Beirut – where she later designed a building on the campus, which was completed in 2014 – before beginning her career at the Architectural Association in London.

His other creations include the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London, the Riverside Museum in Transport for Glasgow, and the Guangzhou Opera House in China.

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Beirut Sooks is located in a commercial district close to the city’s port, where an explosion six weeks ago killed nearly 200 people, injured 6,000 others, and caused $ 4.6 billion (£ 3.6bn) of physical damage and $ There was an economic loss of 3.5 billion.

The disaster, which is still under investigation, caught fire when 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate exploded, which was left un-stored.

Fire personnel extinguished on notice of a fire at the under construction Beirut Sux Shopping Center in Beirut, Lebanon (15 September 2020).Image copyright
Reuters

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The shopping center is located in a commercial district near the port of Beirut

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Firefighters submerge a volcano on 15 September 2020 in a historic building in central Beirut.Image copyright
AFP

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Firefighters soon extinguished the flames

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Last week, two fires at the port caused alarm and anger at residents, who have accused the ruling elite of corruption, neglect and mismanagement.

There was a small fire last Tuesday, which was quickly extinguished on Thursday and a large fire broke out on Thursday at a port warehouse, where aid was being stored.

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More on the explosion in Beirut

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Later investigations into the explosion found that a spark emanating from a saw could be the cause.

“It’s terrible. It’s unbelievable,” jogger Joe Sayigh told the Reuters news agency that he was standing near the Beirut Sooks following the latest fire on Tuesday. “Every day we have a problem.”

On September 15, 2020, a person investigates damage after a fire broke out in a historic building in the commercial district of Beirut, Lebanon.Image copyright
Getty Images

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Flames damaged one corner of the forged roof of the Beirut Sooks

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There is a new Beirut commercial complex designed by the late British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid.  To the left is the Majidiyah Mosque, the capital of Lebanon.  5 August 2020Image copyright
AFP

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Beirut Souks Center was still under construction (file photo from August 2020)

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Lebanon was already reeling from an economic crisis that caused its currency to collapse, raising unemployment and plunging many into poverty.

The government resigned in the wake of the Beirut eruption and Western powers demand that its replacements implement reforms to unlock financial support.

“If they are the same people, nothing will change,” Mr. Saig said.

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