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Beirut makes a comeback, the death toll rises to at least 135

Beirut: The Lebanese rescue team evacuated the bodies on Wednesday and searched for missing persons in the wrecked building. The investigation blamed the negligence on a huge warehouse explosion caused by the big explosion, which blew up Beirut and destroyed at least 135 people. More than 5,000 people were injured. Health Minister Hamad Hassan said an explosion in Beirut port on Tuesday left as many as 250,000 people homeless after the shock wave smashed the facade of the building, sucked furniture into the street and shattered windows several miles inland. Returnable.

Hassan said dozens of people are still missing. Prime Minister Hassan Diab announced three days of mourning starting Thursday. The death toll from the explosion is expected to increase. Officials blame the explosion on the storage of large quantities of explosive materials that have been stored in unsafe conditions at the port for several years.

The explosion is the most powerful explosion ever. Beirut is a city still scarred by the civil war. Beirut ended the civil war thirty years ago and made a comeback due to economic collapse and a surge in coronavirus infections. The explosion shook buildings on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus about 100 miles (160 kilometers) away.

President Michel Aoun stated that the 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate used to seize fertilizers and bombs had been stored in the port for six years after being seized without any security measures. In a speech to the country at the emergency cabinet meeting, Aoun said: “There is no word to describe the horror of attacking Beirut last night and turning it into a disaster-stricken city.” He said that the government is “determined to investigate and expose what happened as soon as possible, and to hold accountable the responsible and the negligent.

An official source familiar with the preliminary investigation attributed the incident to “inaction and negligence” and said that the committee and judge involved in the incident “did not take any action” and ordered the removal of dangerous substances. Cabinet sources told Reuters that the cabinet ordered port officials involved in storing or custody of materials since 2014 to be placed under house arrest. The cabinet also declared a two-week state of emergency in Beirut.

Lebanon’s collapse

Ordinary Lebanese who lost their jobs during Lebanon’s financial crisis and watched their savings evaporate accused politicians who had overseen decades of corruption and poor governance in the country. “This explosion caused Lebanon to collapse. I really blame the ruling class.” Said Hassan Zaiter, the manager of the heavily damaged Le Gray Hotel in downtown Beirut, 32.

The Minister of Health said that the death toll has risen to 135, and the shock wave after the explosion pushed some victims into the sea, continuing to search for victims. Relatives gathered at the cordon leading to the port of Beirut, seeking information about those who are still missing. Many of the victims were port and customs employees, people working in the area or people driving nearby during the rush hour on Tuesday evening.

As the hospital is overwhelmed, the Red Cross is working with the Ministry of Health to build a morgue. Health officials said the hospital was struggling with a large number of casualties and ran out of beds and equipment to take care of the wounded and the seriously ill.

The Clemenceau Medical Center in Beirut “like a slaughterhouse, with blood covering the corridors and elevators,” said Sara, one of its nurses. The governor of Beirut, Marwan Abboud, told Al Hadath TV that the collective losses after the explosion could reach US$10 billion to US$15 billion. He said that this estimate includes direct and business-related losses. Indirect loss. “This is a fatal blow in Beirut. We are a disaster zone,” said Bilal, who is in his 60s.

Internationally supported proposals poured in. The Arab Gulf countries used to be Lebanon’s main financial supporters, but they have recently backed off because they said it was Iran’s intervention. They sent airplanes of medical equipment and other supplies. Turkey stated that it will send 20 doctors to Beirut to help treat the injured and provide medical and relief assistance. Iraq promised to provide fuel assistance, while Iran provided food and a field hospital.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said in a tweet: “We sympathize with dear Lebanese citizens and stand with them in the tragic and tragic explosion of the Beirut port… In the face of this incident, patience will be the honorable golden leaf Lebanon.” The United States, Britain, France and other Western countries that have been asking Lebanon for political and economic changes have also provided assistance. Germany, the Netherlands and Cyprus provided dedicated search and rescue teams.

Two French planes are expected to arrive on Thursday, where there will be 55 rescuers, medical equipment and a mobile clinic. French President Macron will also visit Lebanon on Thursday. Other Arab and European countries are sending doctors, mobile hospitals and equipment.

`CATASTROPHE`

For many people, this is a frightening reminder of the civil war of 1975-1990, which disintegrated the entire country and destroyed large tracts of Beirut, many of which have been rebuilt since. “This is a disaster for Beirut and Lebanon.” Beirut Mayor Jamal Itani told Reuters while inspecting the damage.
Officials did not say that it was the fire in the port that caused the explosion. A safety source and media said that this started with welding work in the warehouse.

Taxi driver Abou Khaled (Abou Khaled) said that ministers are the first to be responsible for the disaster. They neglected to commit crimes to the people of this country. The port area fell into chaos, paralyzing the country’s main import routes, making it impossible to feed a country with a population of more than 6 million people.

Beirut Governor Abboud said that the amount of wheat currently available is limited, and he believes that the crisis could develop without international intervention. Lebanon is already working hard to resettle and feed refugees fleeing the conflict in neighboring Syria, and has no trade or other ties with Israel, its only neighbor. Roland Alford, managing director of Alford Technologies, a British explosives disposal company, said: “In terms of scale, the explosion started with a nuclear bomb, not a conventional bomb.” “This is huge.”

The explosion prompted the Lebanese Special Court on Wednesday to postpone its ruling to the trial of the 2005 bombing, which killed former prime minister Rafik al-Hariri until August 18. The court is expected to rule this Friday. The UN-backed court has tried four suspects from the Iranian-backed Shia Muslim organization Hezbollah. Hariri and 21 others were killed by a large truck bomb in another area of ​​Beirut’s seaside about 2 kilometers (about 1 mile) from the port.

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