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Lebanese confront devastation after massive Beirut explosion

14 Comments
By ZEINA KARAM

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I would advise against listening to Donald Trump at the best of times, let alone the worst,” Tom Fletcher, a former British ambassador to Lebanon, said.“ You can’t show up unprepared for the Middle East. Careless messaging from the White House has consequences, even when no one takes the tweeter seriously. I hope future American presidents will try to help put out fires in the region, not fan them.”

RIP to the victims.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/aug/05/donald-trump-beirut-explosion-remarks

Speculation is insensitive.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"It is ironic that in hesitating to adjudicate the legal issues around the load of explosive cargo it ended up stuck with, the Lebanese government made it inevitable that there would be a devastating explosion in its capital."

Not sure the courts in any other country would have resolved an unusual commercial dispute like this, one that involves foreign owners of the ship and a different set of foreign owners of the cargo, any quicker.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Must be in politics there RichieRich.

Like what you did there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Another commenter had it right, those who think it was Hezbollah only have half a brain cell.

The actual cause (if not the proximate cause) is the decades of paralysis in the Lebanese government due to the need to appease the US, not offend the aggressive, expansionist regime to its south, while not kicking off another uprising against it amongst its population.

It is ironic that in hesitating to adjudicate the legal issues around the load of explosive cargo it ended up stuck with, the Lebanese government made it inevitable that there would be a devastating explosion in its capital.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

If you want to study a similar tragedy related to ammonium nitrate read about the 1947 Texas City Explosion on Galveston Bay where a French flagged cargo ship filled with the material, which is used as a fertilizer, caught fire and the fire set off the cargo. The ship was loaded with just over 2000 metric tons of ammonium nitrate where the warehouse in Beirut was storing supposedly 2700 tons of the same material. In addition to the ammonium nitrate on the ship there was lots more in the adjacent warehouse and on another ship moored next to the French ship. The explosion blew ships right out of the water and started a chain reaction of other explosions in warehouses and oil refineries. Two aircraft were blown out of the sky. One ships anchor was found across town and the propeller of another ship was likewise found a kilometer from shore. Over 1000 buildings were leveled, 581 confirmed dead including all but one member of the Texas City Fire Dept. Over 100 more were reported missing but no remains were ever found. Windows were blown out in Galveston some 16 km away.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The blast was caused by ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse at the port. Way back in 2013 a Moldavan ship loaded with this product experienced engineering problems and made an emergency stop at the port of Beirut. The necessary repairs were going to cost a lot so the owner of the ship simply abandoned it. In 2015 the cargo was offloaded and put in the warehouse in storage. The port authority had been sending letters to the Lebanese courts for a long period of time telling them to settle the legal matters associated with the cargo and get the stuff out of the port before there was a tragedy.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

StrangerDanger

Being that Hezbolla is notorious in Beruit, anyone with half a functioning braincell may think they had something to do with it. Also, JT’s own article hints towards this idea, hence, I quoted them in my initial response:

The explosion occurred three days before a U.N.-backed court is due to deliver a verdict in the trial of four suspects from the Shi'ite group Hezbollah over a 2005 bombing which killed former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri and 21 other people.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The nature of the shock wave clearly shows this was a single device precision explosion that was not ammonium nitrate. The only explosions on record that happen with such precision they send out perfect spheres of that size are nuclear weapons. A large amount of conventional high explosive put together in one big bomb could likely do this also, but this was clearly not fertilizer, which needs fuel added to it before it can explode at all, let alone like this.

There were Israeli warplanes heard in the area prior to this also. What if someone from Israel was sent in to start a fireworks cache to set a precedent, and then in the middle of that mayhem, Israel nuked the place? If anything like this happens again, well, things did not magically change overnight, we are likely looking at a new war tactic. Something is not right about this, if this is legit we need ZERO REPEATS EVER AGAIN to prove it.

The damage posted on PressTV does not look like 2.7 kilotons either, it looks more like 20 KT.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I hope they find the idiot who thought it was a good idea to store that much explosive material in a warehouse...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Interior Minister Mohammed Fahmi told a local TV station that it appeared the blast was caused by the detonation of more than 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate that had been stored in a warehouse at the dock ever since it was confiscated from a cargo ship in 2014.

Sounds like an accident to me. Why where they storing this for 6 years in the harbour anyway?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

WA4TKG

Hezbollah would be probably the last group responsible for a deliberate attack in the port of Beirut. It would more lively be a sabotage attack by Israel or possibly munitions destined for Hezbollah exploding due to mishandling or sabotage... However, the most likely cause is a stupid unnecessary accident.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

If this WAS an attack, and was sanctioned by Hezbolla, there will be Hell to pay

(do you think Hezbolla didn’t know of the 2,700 Tons of Ammonium Nitrate stored there?)

And what if it was the Hells Angels from America? They must have known it was there too.

Are we going to speculate on every group in the world, or is there any actual evidence whatsoever that points to this being even an attack at all, much less by Hezbolla?

3 ( +7 / -4 )

If this WAS an attack, and was sanctioned by Hezbolla, there will be Hell to pay

(do you think Hezbolla didn’t know of the 2,700 Tons of Ammonium Nitrate stored there?)

The Prime Minister already said; We WILL Hold those Responsible.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Oooops!

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

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