A month after an explosion centered on a derelict ammonium nitrate stockpile wiped out entire Beirut neighborhoods, killing 191 people and injuring many thousands, the Lebanese Army announced it has uncovered 4.35 more tons of the same highly explosive substance in four containers near the port’s entrance.
The prior massive detonation, which produced a seismic shock so powerful as to be felt for miles away, involved 3,000 tons of the volatile stuff, which is manufactured for explosives as well as fertilizer. The one month anniversary of the Aug.4 tragedy comes Friday.
Lebanese military officials didn’t give many details of the new discovery, other than to say that Army engineers are “dealing with it”, according to state news agency NNA.
Recall too that after days following the explosion an international team inspected the site, French and Italian experts found a further more than 20 containers with what were dubbed “dangerous chemicals” in them.
The new find of more than four tons of ammonium nitrate is being investigated, and there’s yet to be any details of who it belongs to or how it came to be stored there.
The fact that it took 30 days to find this can only be read as another incredible, astounding failure by the country’s authorities.
Army now says they are “working to deal with it,” now.
— Timour Azhari (@timourazhari) September 3, 2020
It was revealed last month that the initial stockpile which detonated after a fire by wielding work on the warehouse where it was stored had languished there for seven years, with everyone seeming to pass responsibility.
The new find is adding to anger in the streets which had led to the prime minister and many top government officials stepping down the wake of the tragedy.