Port of Beirut Erupts in Raging Fire Following Explosion

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Following a month after the Beirut Blast, a fire in Lebanon struck and left the city of Beirut in fumes of smoke and harsh air quality on Thursday, NBC News reports. The ammonium nitrate blast prior to the fire killed 191 citizens and injured 6,000 people, causing a humanitarian crisis. It was one of the biggest non-nuclear explosions that has ever occurred. The blast caused about a quarter-million people to become homeless and cost billions of dollars of damage to the already debt-filled Lebanese government. The resulting fire that rained ash from the sky and covered areas located near the port in debris.

Although there is a source of the fire yet, Lebanese president Michel Aoun is unsure of the cause of the fire, but states “In all cases, the cause must be known as soon as possible and the perpetrators held to account.” CBS News states that there was additionally a small fire on Tuesday, but it was quickly extinguished. The president believes that the fire could have possibly been due to sabotage, technical error, or negligence and that there will soon be an investigation made by the military police, Reuters recalls. On the other hand, the director-general of the Beirut port believes that the fire broke out from a company that imports frying oil, then later spreading to rubber tires, they told the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation.  

The governor of Beirut warned local citizens to evacuate the streets and workplaces near the warehouse as the potential destruction risks and air quality was extremely dangerous. Fire trucks and army helicopters were used in an attempt to combat the fire, says HuffPost. Officials will remove dangerous materials in order to avoid possible future incidents to occur. ABC News states that although the fire caused even more damage to the port and emitted toxic fumes for several hours, nobody was harmed.