Firefighters Tuesday extinguished a large blaze at an iconic building in central Beirut designed by renowned British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid.
Thick plumes of black smoke rose from the building Tuesday morning before Civil Defense volunteers arrived to bring the situation under control. The source of the fire is still unknown but a Civil Defense spokesperson said that an investigation would be launched into the incident.
The building on Patriarch Howayek Street in Beirut Souks has been under construction since 2016 and was set to be a five-level department store.
Fires continue to erupt at nearby Beirut Port following the massive Aug. 4 port explosion that killed more than 190 people and injured 6,500 more. Last Thursday the Lebanese Army and Civil Defense spent hours battling to put out a huge blaze at a warehouse containing tires and vegetable oil in the port.
A local probe is being carried out into the cause of the port blast, which took place when 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate exploded after being unsafely stored for years.
Judicial investigator into the case Judge Fadi Sawwan has so far arrested 25 low to mid-ranking officials for their role in the explosion, which is widely viewed as a symbol of the ruling elite's corruption and incompetence.
Hassan Diab's government was pressured into resigning in the wake of the blast and his replacement, Prime Minister-designate Mustapha Adib, is yet to submit a draft Cabinet lineup to President Michel Aoun.
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