The year 2020 got a lot with it. From Coronavirus to earthquakes, from plane crashes to bushfires, we saw a lot. And as if Covid-19 wasn’t enough to test the people around the globe, there came the Beirut blast. It was on August 4th, 2020 that the Beirut, the capital of Lebenon, saw the darkest day in its history where a blast at the Beirut port changed the face of the city for not good. A large part of highly inflammable ammonium nitrate, stored at the portside warehouse blowed up killing 157 people, injuring over 6000 lives, displacing hundreds of thousands and damaging nation’s assets worth $5 billion (approximately). While the blast destroyed a lot for the people of Beirut, their anger reignited anti-government protests in the country which led to the resignation of the Prime Minister, leaving behind a lot of questions and mysteries about the blast.
Cause of Fire That Lead to The Blast
While we all know that the blast at Beirut was because of the deadly ammonium nitrate, what set it off isn’t very clear. While there are reports that a container of fireworks was burning, resulting in the uncontrollable fire reaching the highly-inflammable ammonium nitrate, leading to the blast. Now what still remains an unsolved mystery is the reason behind the fire in the container of fireworks.
Did 100% Ammonium Nitrate Blast that Day?
While the documents of the customs and the port officials declares the presence of 2700 tons of ammonium nitrate on August 4th, 2020; there are experts who believe that wasn’t the case. If reports were to be believed, 2700 tons of ammonium nitrate would have had a much bigger, more impactful and deadly blast than the one that happened. So, what is the truth? Was there some less ammonium nitrate in the warehouse? And if yes, where was/ is the remaining? The questions, till date, remain unanswered.
Why Stored for So Long?
What originally entered Beirut’s port on a ship bound for Mozambique in 2013, 2075 tons of Ammonium nitrate carried by a vessel in 2015, was forced to dock in 2013 in Beirut due to technical problems. Its owners later abandoned it there. Local authorities then transferred the explosives to a warehouse in the port and were meant to dispose of them safely which, of course, never happened. What was the reason behind it? While a few suspect it to be an intentional move of the government to sell the expensive chemical and make money, others blame it on the corrupt officials. Whatever the truth might be, the fact that it changed a lot of the people of Beirut, goes without saying.