Lebanon orders investigation of a massive Beirut fire at a port warehouse. It is the same place where an enormous explosion took place last month, killing over 190 people. The recent eruption occurred in a warehouse that is also an aid agency, storing cooking oil and food. Military officials and firefighters worked relentlessly for hours trying to control the fire. They took the help of helicopters that were dropping water continually to put off the fire. Till now, there are no reports of injuries. Moreover, the origin of the fire is still not exact.
The Beirut Fire incident in more details
A viral social media footage shows that port workers were running around helplessly when the Beirut fire broke out. The incident took place on Thursday, September 10, in the duty-free site of the port. The fire gave rise to a massive plume of black smoke over a large part of the city. According to George Kettaneh, Lebanon’s Red Cross Chief reports that several people were facing difficulty breathing. However, there are still no reports of significant injuries or deaths.
Fabrizio Carboni, the Regional Director of Lebanon’s Red Cross, reveals that the warehouse was storing many food parcels. Moreover, he believes that rescue and investigation are at risk of significant disruption. The entire area surrounding the fire zone was closed down to restrict further spreading. Soon, assurance came from the end of Raymond Khattar, director general of civil defense. He clearly says that the disaster management team working on the port will not give up until the operation gets over.
The recent fire occurred within a month of the massive explosion that devastated the Lebanese capital. The detonation of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate during the fire last month caused significant pollution and destruction. Following the August 4 explosion, thousands of people were left injured and homeless, apart from the death of many. Several citizens left the city due to trauma after the September 10 eruption. Although the government is giving assurance of no loss, the people are still scared of the massive fire.
Beirut explosion cause
In an official tweet by the Lebanese Army, they assure people that investigation regarding the fire’s cause is on. According to Bassem-al-Qaisi, the origin of the fire was the warehouse storing cooking oil barrels. Gradually, the fire spread across the entire area, burning other factories and buildings. He mentions that there are still doubts about whether the fire results from a human mistake or excessive heat.
Public works minister Michel Najjar reveals that the preliminary investigation reports suggest that the port’s repair work is the reason for the fire. However, he makes it clear that they cannot conclude before the comprehensive study is complete. In a recent meeting, Michel Aoun, the Lebanese President, suggests that the fire may be a result of technical negligence or error. The reason may also be an incident of sabotage.