Lebanese safety officers warned the prime minister and president final month that 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate saved in Beirut’s port posed a safety danger and will destroy the capital if it exploded, based on paperwork seen by Reuters and senior safety sources.
Simply over two weeks later, the economic chemical compounds went up in a large blast that obliterated many of the port and swathes of the capital, killed a minimum of 163 folks, injured 6,000 and destroyed 6,000 buildings.
A report by the Common Directorate of State Safety on occasions main as much as the explosion included a reference to a non-public letter despatched to President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Hassan Diab on July 20.
Whereas the content material of the letter was not within the report, a senior safety official mentioned it summed up the findings of a judicial investigation launched in January which concluded the chemical compounds wanted to be secured instantly. The state safety report, which confirmed the correspondence to the president and the prime minister, has not beforehand been reported. “There was a hazard that this materials, if stolen, could possibly be utilized in a terrorist assault,” the official instructed Reuters.
“I warned them that this might destroy Beirut if it exploded,” mentioned the official, who was concerned in writing the letter and declined to be named.