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Cause of Beirut Explosion That Killed Hundreds identified

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Cause of Beirut explosion that killed hundreds of people has been identified. 

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Image of damage from the Beirut explosion

Tuesday, 4 of August 2020 would remain a dark day in the annals of history following the massive explosion that rocked Beirut the Lebanon capital.

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Rescue Operation ongoing

On the afternoon of 4 August 2020, two powerful explosions occurred at the port of the city of Beirut, shattering buildings and causing massive devastation that made Beirut look like a picture of Hiroshima after the August 6, 1945, nuclear bomb.

While the first explosion was mild and caused damages only within the port complex. The extremely powerful second explosion resulted in at least 200 deaths, thousands of injuries, and damages to properties estimated between US$10–15 billion. According to a report, an estimated 300,000 people made homeless.

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Immediate Cause of Beirut Explosion

The cause of Beirut explosion has been linked to about 2,750 tonnes (3,030 short tons; 2,710 long tons) of ammonium nitrate – equivalent to around 1.2 kt – which was confiscated by the Lebanese government from the abandoned ship MV Rhosus.

The confisticated ammonium nitrates were stored in the port without proper safety measures for six years.

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The immediate cause of Beirut explosion according to unconfirmed reports was that fire at the port storage facility which led to the explosion started when some welders were carrying out the repair on the holding facility gates without adequate safety measures put in place.

Explosion as a result of government negligence

In 2013 the government of Lebanon impounded a sized a Russian cargo ship MV Rhosus filled with ammonium nitrate on its way to Mozambique. The ship owners on able to pay the port fee abandoned the vessel at the Beirut port.

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Since 2014, officials of the Beirut port aware of the danger posed by the ammonium nitrate, wrote series of letters to the government that the ammonium nitrate should be evacuated from the port and donated to the Lebanese Military.

One of the letters sent in 2016 noted that judges had not replied to previous requests, and “pleaded”:

“In view of the serious danger of keeping these goods in the hangar in unsuitable climatic conditions, we reaffirm our request to please request the marine agency to re-export these goods immediately to preserve the safety of the port and those working in it or to look into agreeing to sell this amount “

The government’s negative response to the call by the Beirut port authority to evacuate the dangerous content is the lead cause of Beirut explosion. If these materials have been move out of the port, this explosion should have been avoided.

READ ALSO: Beirut Updates: Meet Issam Who Survived More Than 10 Hours Under Rubbles

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