Middle EastPorts and Logistics

More ammonium nitrate found at Beirut port

The Lebanese army found another 4.35 tonnes of explosive ammonium nitrate yesterday near the entrance to Beirut port, one month on from the deadly blast caused by 2,750 tonnes of the same substance that ripped apart much of the city.

Army engineers were “dealing with it,” according to an army statement carried by the state news agency NNA. The statement said the chemicals were found outside entrance nine to the port.

The lead investigator of the catastrophic blast heard testimony from outgoing prime minister Hassan Diab on Thursday.

Diab admitted knowing about the existence of the dangerous chemical – used to make fertilizer and explosives – at the port prior to the blast.

Twenty-five suspects have so far been arrested, including port director-general Hassan Koraytem and customs chief Badri Daher.

Also among those arrested are three Syrian workers who carried out welding work on the warehouse containing the poorly stored ammonia nitrate on the day of the blast.

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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