A huge fire explosion has erupted in the port of Lebanese capital Beirut. The fire broke out in the port’s duty-free zone. Reports so far have not confirmed injuries yet and officials say the fire was contained in one location.
This explosion comes a month after Beruit experienced a massive explosion which led to the death of over 190 persons.
Footages shared on social media shows thick smoke rising in the city’s skyline with workers at the port running away from the scene. Firefighters and military officials were on site to put out the place and ensure calm. The cause of the fire is unknown.
Head of the Lebanese Red Cross Society, Mr George Kettaneh said some of the people on site were suffering from shortness of breath but no injuries have been recorded yet. He also added that, “there was no fear of an explosion as a result of the fire.”
Director of Lebanon’s Civil Defence, General Raymond Khattar told the National News Agency that the entire area around the explosion has been “cordoned off” to prevent the fire from spreading any further.
According to the Port Director Bassem al-Qaisi, “the fire started in a warehouse where barrels of cooking oil were being stored, and then they spread to tyres nearby.” He also noted that it is too early to conclude on the exact cause of the fire whether it was as a result of heat or some mistake. An investigation has been ordered into the cause of the fire.
Residents of the city of Beirut are still traumatized over last month’s explosion and fear for their lives and that of their families despite assurances from the government that the situation was under control. Some also say the port blaze only reminds them of last month’s explosion.
The blast which occurred on August 4, was as a result of some 2,750 tonnes of detonated ammonium nitrate. The explosion caused widespread criticism from the public as to why such a large quantity of hazardous material was stored unsafely in a warehouse close to residential areas.
The explosion left about some 300,000 people homeless while thousands suffered various injuries
Source: African Post