It was not entirely clear what caused the fire at the facility, which was decimated by the blast of August 4, when almost 3,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrates were exploded.
Fire eruptions in Beirut Port District, one month after a major explosion that killed 190 people – Insiderfolks, A major fire broke out in the port of Beirut on Thursday, sparking panic among locals, traumatised by a large explosion that killed and wounded thousands of people last month.
It was not entirely clear what sparked the fire at the plant, which was decimated by an explosion on August 4, when almost 3,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate exploded, causing a shock wave explosion that shattered glass, doors, and walls miles away.
A cloud of black smoke erupted from the port at noon on Thursday, with orange flames jumping from the ground.
The Lebanese Army said the fire occurred in a warehouse where oil and tyres were stored in a duty-free zone at the port, adding that the fire occurred underway and that military helicopters were involved in the action.
Panicked residents — still trying to overcome last month’s catastrophic explosion — cracked open windows and called each other to warn them of a new fire.
Local TV stations reported that the companies that have offices near the port have requested their workers to leave the city.
Lebanon’s troops blocked the main road that passes through the terminal, connecting traffic to other areas.
The blast of August 4 killed more than 190 civilians, wounded about 6,500 and destroyed thousands of buildings in the Lebanese capital. A month later, the sight of another massive fire sparked fear among people traumatised by last month’s blast.
The state-run National News Agency confirmed that the fire was in the warehouse where the tyres were put. It added that the firefighters were struggling with the blaze. Army helicopters took part in an attempt to extinguish the flames.
A video posted on social media shows port employees fleeing in terror as soon as the fire broke out, a grim reminder of last month’s explosion that killed hundreds of port staff and 10 firefighters.
Police spokesperson, Col. Joseph Msalam, said they had no knowledge on what was happening at the terminal, adding that the facility is actually under the jurisdiction of the army.
Asked about rumors that the fire was sparked by burning tyres and gasoline, he said, “I don’t know. That may have been tubes. I really don’t know what is there.” It was the second fire at the port this week. A minor fire exploded on Tuesday, causing some sort of chaos, which was soon extinguished.
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