UPDATE 1-Lebanese army finds more explosive chemicals outside Beirut port after huge blast
BEIRUT, Sept 3- Lebanon’s army said on Thursday4.35 tonnes of ammonium nitrate neium nitrate near the entrance to Beirut port, the site of a huge blast last month caused by a large stockpile of the same highly explosive chemical. Lebanon’s government quit amid public anger in a nation already brought to its knees by an economic crisis. Beirut airport head Fadi…
BEIRUT, Sept 3 (Reuters) – Lebanon’s army said on Thursday4.35 tonnes of ammonium nitrate neium nitrate near the entrance
to Beirut port, the site of a huge blast last month caused by a
large stockpile of the same highly explosive chemical.
Army engineers were “dealing with it,” according to an armystatement carried by the state news agency NNA. The statementsaid the chemicals were found outside entrance nine to the port.
The catastrophic explosion on Aug. 4 that ripped through thecity killed about 190 people. The authorities said it was causedby about 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate that had been stackedin unsafe conditions in a port warehouse for years.
The blast smashed entire neighbourhoods, gutting buildingsand injuring 6,000 people.
Lebanon’s government quit amid public anger in a nationalready brought to its knees by an economic crisis. The publicremains anxious that more hazardous materials are being storedbadly, putting them at risk.
Earlier on Thursday, President Michel Aoun ordered repairsto be made to old refuelling infrastructure at Beirut airportand called for an investigation into a report that thousands oflitres of fuel had leaked from the system.
Beirut airport head Fadi el-Hassan told a news conferencethat a leak of 84,000 litres of fuel had occurred in March 2019and repairs were completed in two months. He said internationalinvestigators had described the repairs as “satisfactory”.
News of the leak added to concerns about public safety. “Noexplosion is awaiting us,” Hassan told the news conference.
(Reporting by Raya Jalabi; Editing by Edmund Blair)
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