Middle EastPorts and Logistics

Silos collapse at Beirut port

The northern part of the grain silos at Beirut Port collapsed yesterday after a prolonged fire. The incident came just days before the second anniversary of the massive explosion that damaged them and killed more than 200 people.

A fire had been smouldering in the 50-year-old silos for several weeks which officials said was the result of summer heat igniting fermenting grains that have been left rotting inside since the explosion.

The 48 m high silos withstood the force of the explosion two years ago, effectively shielding the western part of Beirut from the chemical blast that badly damaged entire neighbourhoods.

In April, the Lebanese government ordered the remains of the silo to be demolished. However, the work was delayed as many locals called for the ruins to be preserved as a place of remembrance. Yesterday’s collapse sent a giant plume of dust and smoke into the air and over the city, a painful reminder of the 2020 explosion.

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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