Six Months After Beirut Explosion: A Disaster With Many Problems To Be Solved

2021-02-01   |   by CusiGO

“Our government has done this,” a huge painting wrote on a concrete block overlooking the port of Beirut. Since August 4 last year, due to the huge explosion of 2750 tons of ammonium nitrate, the metal has been twisted into a ball, killing 205 people, It has injured more than 6500 people and displaced another 350000 residents. Although all political leaders at the time promised to be responsible for the bombing, the official opaque and controversial investigation did not release any data. In this regard, after the collective resignation of the previous month six months after the tragedy, friction between political parties also hindered the formation of a new government.

Half a year after being considered one of the most powerful non nuclear explosions in the history of the world, three key unknown factors remain unanswered: was it intentional or accidental? How does ammonium nitrate get to the port? Who is responsible for the so-called negligence that caused the explosion?

According to the official statement put forward by the government of Lebanon, the explosion of ammonium nitrate explosive was caused by a fire, which triggered a welder team that came to close a hole on the side of hangar 12 of the port on the same day. At present, the responsibility falls on port customs director Badri Dahl and 24 other arrested and imprisoned intermediaries.

Joao Rodriguez said with regret: “if we continue with the [border control] formation and its application in the field, this tragedy will not happen, because the international security regulations should have been complied with.”. Between 2016 and 2017, he participated in the European aid to Lebanon border management programme. Spain has been responsible for supporting maritime border surveillance over the years, and Rodriguez is responsible for customs assistance.

In a telephone conversation in Portugal, the soldier said he had received training on how to transport and store dual-use chemicals for civilian and military use in accordance with international safety standards, such as ammonium nitrate, which is both agricultural fertilizer and explosive. Rodriguez knows the inside of Beirut port like the palm of his hand. He does not rule out that it may be a trigger explosion: “this is a very difficult explosive to detonate. It will not explode without warning. The port is a place with strict security,” he said.

In Beirut, hares Suleiman, a retired chemistry professor, said: “ammonium nitrate doesn’t explode through a blowtorch spark.” “It needs a powerful detonator, which could be another previous explosion, or it has to be converted to a gaseous state at temperatures above 160 degrees Celsius,” said the Lebanon chemist.

The British forensic Architecture Association has successfully cross referenced thousands of open-source images to reconstruct the most comprehensive investigation of the time of the explosion to date. The video shows dozens of bags – each about a ton – have been opened, some of which contain content Dumped and contaminated the hangar floor. These photos show that about 240 bags of 2700 pieces of cargo unloaded from a Moldovan flag cargo ship rhosus six years ago were found.

The change of smoke color from the hangar can identify the burning material. The product list of hangar 12 released by MBC of Lebanon TV station includes 23 tons of pyrotechnic compounds, 50 tons of ammonium phosphate, 1000 tires and 5 tons of tea and coffee. According to experts, it’s an explosive cocktail. The image sequence shows the initial fire in the northwest of hangar 12. The flame moved to the place where the ammonium nitrate bags were piled up.

The first explosion occurred 35 seconds before the brutal explosion that struck Beirut’s media base at 18:07. It’s in the place of the fireworks. From there, the smoke blackened, giving the impression that combustion spread to the rubber tires, giving way to a mushroom like red cloud at 775 meters. “In my opinion, the composition of the fireworks may contain a small amount of TNT (explosive), This shows that fireworks were an important catalyst for the incident, but they did not detonate ammonium nitrate directly, “concluded Gareth Colette, a U.N. explosion expert who consulted forensic architectural studies.

The first to question the nature of the explosion was the acting prime minister of Lebanon, Hassan diab, who said at a December news conference: “the FBI report, He revealed that the number of explosions [in Beirut port] was only 500 tons. ” After the statement, he asked a question: “where did the remaining 2250 tons come from? (a)

“It may not explode 2750 tons of cargo, but only half of it is in drier, better preserved bags,” Dr. Samantha Murphy, chief researcher of forensic architecture, explained in a telephone conversation in London. Last week, an investigation report by journalist firas hatoum on the Lebanon TV station al jadeed revealed a new clue. One of them is the presence of 100 to 200 kilograms of picric acid as a storage partner for ammonium nitrate: “a very sensitive explosive that can be detonated by a fly’s simple flight,” said Suleiman, a chemist in Lebanon.

One of the assumptions put forward by a European explosives expert consulted by the country is that someone deliberately “places a calculated and powerful explosive to detonate the second and largest explosion”. In Beirut, military experts inclined to this state of affairs pointed out that the militia Hezbollah’s enemies might be responsible and claimed to be trying to expose the militia’s controversial possession of weapons. The traditional enemies of the militia are Israel and rival Sunni factions.

At the end of 2013, rhosus, flying the Moldovan flag, berthed at the port of Beirut, carrying 2750 tons of ammonium nitrate. The ship sailed from Batumi port, Georgia to Beira, Mozambique. The reason for rhosus’s stay in Beirut is unclear. “The owner wanted to earn more money to pay for the customs duties on the Suez Canal, so he decided to stop in the capital of Lebanon to collect extra fees,” he told BBC television. Boris prokoshev retired today, when he was a cargo ship captain.

This is the beginning of a series of strange mistakes that led to the August 4 explosion. According to prokoshev, they were unable to collect additional goods because it was “too heavy.”. The ship was inspected by the Customs police of Lebanon and was unable to set sail due to several requests made to the cargo owner. “We were held hostage on the ship for 10 months, which was a floating bomb, until we sold part of the fuel on the ship to pay for a lawyer who managed to get us out of the ship,” the former Capitan continued.

The dangerous goods were unloaded and stored in October 2014. It costs between 500000 and 750000 euros. In February 2015, judge Nadim zwin of Lebanon sent an expert to analyze the charges. It concluded that it must be placed immediately under the control of the Lebanon army, which withdrew from ammonium nitrate and recommended that it be sold to a private company.

On the contrary, firas hatoum, a documentary producer in Lebanon, said: “the goods did not enter Beirut by mistake, but were destined to arrive in Beirut from the beginning.”. An investigation led by hatum and published on Al jadeed television in mid January revealed the framework behind the mysterious rhosus ship and its cargo. Following the release of the plan, savaro, a London based company that bought ammonium nitrate in 2013, asked to be dissolved. Three Syrian businessmen – also of Russian nationality – were reported to have ties with savaro. These include the Imad brothers and the mudalar quri brothers, both of whom have been sanctioned by the United States for “supporting the Bashar al Assad regime in Syria.”. Mudallar was accused of trying to provide ammonium nitrate to the Damascus government in the same year. “All indications indicate that they arranged a complicated trip so that they could be exempted from the responsibility of all relevant actors,” the reporter said in the investigation.

Other experts agreed that the destination was Syria. “There was an increase in the number of barrel bombs dropped by the Syrian regime on Syria that year,” said hares Suleiman, a chemistry professor.

Nearly half a year after the explosion, 25 people were arrested: Badri Dahl, director of the General Administration of customs, and 24 other port agents. On December 10 last year, judge Fadi SAVAN, who is responsible for the official investigation of the bombing, accused acting prime minister Hassan diab and three other former ministers of Lebanon for negligence. Diabu and two of the three former ministers refused to appear in court, and they also asked the judge to challenge them. The interior ministry supported the defendants and refused to send agents to bring them to justice.

“This is a good sign that the Supreme Court will refuse to challenge it,” explains Melhem Khalaf, President of the Beirut Bar Association. Haraf regretted that, despite repeated requests to the United Nations, they did not receive special international assistance or even the report prepared by the United Nations High Commissioner for human rights. British or French experts with access to the scene of the explosion.

From the unloading of ammonium nitrate at Beirut port in October 2014 to 2017, port officials issued five official letters to the government warning of the dangers of the material and its risks to the city and its people, but no action was taken. The last letter revealed by the Reuters investigation can be traced back to July 20, 2020, two weeks before the explosion, to the current Prime Minister Hassan diabu and the president of Lebanon Michel Orn. Neither of us went to the port.

Professor Suleiman said: “Article 17 of the constitution of Lebanon stipulates all matters related to weapons. This chemical substance can only be imported at the request of the army and must be approved by the cabinet.”. According to the international security regulations, 2750 tons of ammonium nitrate must be stored at least 1570 meters away from the first line of urban residential buildings. Hangar 12 is only 480 meters away from the first group of inhabited buildings.

“It’s a journey through minefields, but we won’t stop until the perpetrators are brought to justice,” haraf said firmly in his office in Beirut. Even politicians, he said, are required by Lebanon’s constitution to be responsible for ordinary litigation in ordinary courts. Not the president. His immunity is complete. “Judges and magistrates are trying to restore the legitimacy of the people,” haraf continued, noting that in this case, there is an opportunity to strengthen the independence of Lebanon’s judicial system, which claims to be independent of politicians.

Nada abdelsater, a lawyer, is responsible for submitting a petition to the UN Security Council calling for an independent investigation under international supervision. Lebanon’s political elite totally rejected that.