Initial investigations point to negligence as cause of Beirut blast, source says
Initial investigations into the Beirut port blast indicate years of inaction and negligence over the storage of highly explosive material caused the explosion that killed more than 100 people, an official source familiar with the findings said, according to Reuters.
The prime minister and presidency have said that 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, used in fertilisers and bombs, had been stored for six years at the port without safety measures.
“It is negligence,” the official source told Reuters, adding that the issue on storing the material safely had come before several committees and judges and “nothing was done” to order the material be removed or disposed of,
The source said a fire had started at port warehouse 9 on Tuesday and spread to warehouse 12, where the ammonium nitrate was stored.
Another source close to a port employee said a team that inspected the material six months ago warned it could “blow up all of Beirut” if not removed.
Tuesday’s explosion was the most powerful ever suffered by Beirut, a city still scarred by civil war three decades ago and reeling from a deep financial crisis rooted in decades of corruption and economic mismanagement.