Finance and InsuranceMiddle EastPorts and Logistics

Insurers brace for $3bn Beirut blast bill

Insurers are bracing for a bill from the Beirut port blast similar to $3bn hit they took in the wake of the Tianjin explosions five years ago.

While Beirut’s explosions last Tuesday were larger than the accident that hit the Chinese port on August 12 2015, the cargoes destroyed in Tianjin were more expensive, including thousands of cars. The Tianjin port blasts are believed to have triggered the largest port-related insurance claims in peacetime history.

The latest count from Lebanon show more than 150 dead and many more missing.

“There are a lot missing whom we cannot identify. They are truck drivers and foreign workers,” Marwan Abboud, the city’s governor, said yesterday.

There are a lot missing whom we cannot identify. They are truck drivers and foreign workers

The huge ammonia nitrate explosion that hit Beirut’s port left a 43 m deep crater where the warehouse that housed the dangerous chemical used to exist. Ports around the world are actively checking their own ammonia nitrate storage capabilities in recent days.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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