Only 20% of Ammonium Nitrate Exploded on August 4th: Where Did the Rest Go?

Published August 1st, 2021 - 11:41 GMT
Lebanese people to mark the first anniversary of the Beirut's port blast on August 4.
On August 4, 2021 Lebanon will mark the first anniversary of the devastating port blast that thundered through the city, levelling entire neighbourhoods, killing more than 200 people and wounding 6,500 others. AFP
One year passed since the tragic Beirut port blast changed the lives of Lebanese people for ever.

An FBI investigation revealed that the amount of the ammonium nitrate which exploded in the Beirut blast on August 4th 2020 equals 522 tons out of the originally 2775 tons preserved in the port from 9 years ago.

The FBI report, unveiled days before the first anniversary of Beirut's port blast which killed 216 people, injured over 6,500 while destroying hundreds of thousands of houses, claims that 80% of the ammonium nitrate had disappeared before the exploasion. 

Several conspiracy theories on the disappearance of the lost ammonium nitrate amount came out; especially after a Lebanese official skipped the answer to the question asked days after the horrific incident.

One of the theories suggests that the rest of the amount was brought to be sent to the Syrian regime with claims saying it was transported from warehouse number 12 directly to Syria.

Lebanese people held several protests as the investigation into the cause of the huge blast is still a mystery. During the protests people called to remove immunities of officials involved in the explosion in order to have a fair investigation and trial. However, the Lebanese judge probing the case refused to take away ministers’ immunities.

A Lebanese member of Parliament, Ali Hasan Khalil, said that his party is ready to remove the immunity of officials involved in the port blast in 2020. The new PM-designate businessman Najib Mikati expressed sadness over the Beirut explosion calling it “the crime of the century.”

Lebanon’s former prime minister Saad Hariri posted on Twitter: “When countries are going through major crises, and a crime the size of the port blast happens, which was classified as the third largest explosion in history; there must be exceptional decisions taken to measure to the extent of the crime.”

One year on since Beirut’s port blast which left around $15 billion in property damage, UNICEF MENA is scheduled to hold a press conference on the conditions of kids and families following the horrific explosion after a survey on 1,200 people.

According to the UN’s survey the results are alarming. After the conference, the NGO will visit an exhibition of paintings of affected children displaying their fears and concerns, and equally their hopes and dreams.

Lebanon is currently facing the worst political and economic crisis in its history especially after the port blast and the novel COVID-19 pandemic as the Lebanese currency has lost more than 90 percent of its value since fall 2019 besides the medicine shortage that is taking people’s lives with the latest being Zahra Tleis a 9-year-old child who was killed after her parents couldn’t find the right medicine for her after being stung by a scorpion.

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