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Port of Beirut: silos collapse again on the second anniversary of the explosion


Towers have collapsed after breaking away from the structure, already damaged after the dramatic explosion at the port two years ago

The drama repeats itself.

Part of the grain silos damaged by the explosion that destroyed the port of Beirut two years ago collapsed on Thursday, as protesters marched to the port for the second anniversary of the tragedy.

Local media said four towers collapsed after being detached from the structure already damaged by the blast of the devastating explosion on August 4, 2020. This is the second accident of its kind in four days, after the collapse of part of the silos on Sunday.

Part of the grain silos, already damaged, collapsed on Thursday.

AFP/Ibrahim Amro

The collapse occurred as three marches arrived at the Port of Beirut to commemorate the tragedy.

"I see the same scene, almost from the same place, two years later," Lama Hachem, 30, told AFP in downtown Beirut as he watched a cloud of dust emanating from the port.

"It's shocking that the same scene is repeated in front of us today," she added, holding back tears in shock.

Already a collapse on Sunday

In April, the government ordered the demolition of the silos, but this operation was suspended due to objections from relatives of victims who want to make it a place of memory.

But more than two weeks ago, a fire broke out in the most damaged part of the silos, causing the silos to collapse on Sunday followed by another collapse on Thursday.

A fire still ravaged the grain silos on Thursday, before part of the structure collapsed.

AFP/Mouafac Harb

On August 4, 2020, hundreds of tons of ammonium nitrate stored carelessly in a warehouse near the port exploded.

More than 200 dead and 6,500 injured were counted and neighborhoods were completely devastated, a tragic event that caused trauma for all Lebanese.

It has been called one of the largest non-nuclear explosions ever recorded anywhere in the world.

But two years later, we still do not know its exact causes or the identity of those responsible in a country where impunity very often reigns.

Investigation still on hold

One of the marches briefly stopped in front of the French Embassy, ​​where demonstrators asked for Paris' support for the relaunch of the investigation.

In an interview with the Lebanese daily L'Orient-Le Jour published on Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron insisted on the importance of knowing the truth.

The investigation has been suspended for months due to political obstruction.

The main investigator, Tarek Bitar, has been prevented from continuing his mission by a series of lawsuits brought against him and by a campaign led by the powerful armed movement of Hezbollah which accuses the judge of bias.

“Lebanese justice must be able to work and complete its investigation in complete transparency, free from any political interference,” the spokesman for the Quai d'Orsay said on Thursday during a press briefing.

Be that as it may, for NGOs and independent UN experts “it is clear today more than ever that the national inquiry cannot do justice”.

And that an international investigation “without delay” is necessary.

Lebanon is today mired in the worst economic crisis in its history: vertiginous fall of the local currency, shortages of fuels, medicines, bread and drinking water, banking restrictions and an impoverishment of the population.

Source: leparis

All tech articles on 2022-08-04

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