Fire in Lebanon’s capital Beirut: Another major fire in the port

Fire in Lebanon's capital Beirut: Another major fire in the port

Five weeks after the Beirut explosion, a warehouse for oil and car tires caught fire. The trigger could have been the heat.

A major fire at the port of the Lebanese capital caused panic five weeks after the devastating explosion in Beirut. Thick clouds of smoke stood over the area on Thursday, September 10th.

According to army reports, a warehouse for oil and car tires had caught fire. The army is in action with fire-fighting helicopters. Local residents were asked to leave the surrounding neighborhoods.

Eyewitnesses posted videos of the flames on the Internet. “The mad fire at the harbor is panicking all of Beirut. We just don’t get any breathing space,” wrote Human Rights Watch researcher Aya Majzoub on Twitter.

“We just can’t take so much trauma,” wrote another user. Many residents of the city are still under the impact of the explosion in early August that devastated parts of Beirut.
Criminologist Omar Nashabe tweeted: “Where do we actually live? This was the scene of a crime a month ago! Where is the judiciary? Where is the state? Where is the responsibility?”

The double explosion in the port of Beirut on August 4 killed more than 190 people and injured more than 6,500 others. The explosion of up to 2,750 tons of unsecured ammonium nitrate caused massive destruction in the Lebanese capital, leaving around 300,000 people homeless.

The disaster sparked angry protests when it emerged that the authorities knew about the huge storage facility of highly explosive ammonium nitrate and had not intervened. The government has since resigned.

The cause of the fire on Thursday was initially unclear. The trigger could have been the heat or a “mistake”, said port director Bassem al-Kaissi. The fire initially broke out in an edible oil warehouse and then spread to stored car tires.

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