Another major part of the devastated Beirut port pits collapsed in a cloud of dust on Tuesday morning. There were no injuries, and the area had long since been evacuated, but The decline is yet another painful reminder of the terrible eruption of August 2020.
The collapse left the southern side of the pits next to a pile of charred rubble.. The northern block was already slowly receding since the start of the eruption two years ago, but has since deteriorated rapidly. A fire broke out a month ago due to grain fermentation.
Silas is 50 years old, 48 meters (157 feet) tall Withstood the force of the explosion on August 4, 2020Effectively protecting the western part of Beirut The explosion killed more than 200 people, injured more than 6,000 and severely damaged entire neighborhoods.
Emmanuel Durantsaid a French civil engineer who volunteered for a government-appointed panel of experts Associated Press The speed of the collapse accelerated overnight Monday, just hours before the collapse.
“As expected, there was a very sharp accelerationDurant explained. “If this happens, you know it will go away.”
He serves as the country’s environment minister. Nasser YasinHe told Lebanese television how the government will now look Ensure that the south block remains intact. He urged people living near the port to wear masks and said experts would conduct them Air quality tests.
In April, The Lebanese government decided to demolish the pits, but put the decision on hold after protests from victims’ families and blast survivors. They argue that there are silos Useful evidence for judicial inquiryAnd that should be the memory of 2020’s tragedy.
In July, a fire broke out in the northern block of silos due to grain fermentation. It burned for more than a month, with firefighters and Lebanese soldiers unable to put it out. Officials have warned that the silo could collapse, but fear it could endanger the lives of firefighters and soldiers battling the blaze or getting too close to drop containers of water from helicopters.
Survivors of the explosion and residents near the port said AP what Watching the fire spread from their homes and offices was like reliving the shock of the port explosionThe fire broke out in a warehouse near the pits containing hundreds of tons of explosives, ammonium nitrate, that had been improperly stored there for years.
At the end of July, The Environment and Health Ministries have issued instructions to people living near the port to stay indoors In well-ventilated areas.
Durant said AP what The grain fire accelerated the slope of the crushed silo and caused irreversible damage to its flimsy concrete foundation.
After that, the structure deteriorated rapidly. At the end of July, part of the northern camp collapsed for the first time. A few days later, on the second anniversary of the Beirut port explosion, a quarter of the building collapsed. On Sunday, the fire spread to large parts of Silap.
(With information from AP)