Beirut, Lebanon (CW44 News At 10) – Investigators in Beirut, Lebanon are working to find out if Tuesday’s gigantic explosion was caused by negligence. The blast killed at least 135 people including one American, around 5,000 others are injured.
The hellscape that was once Beirut’s port, now laid to waste by over 2,700 tons of Ammonium nitrate. How such a vast quantity of such volatile material was allowed to rot for over six years in a warehouse so close to the city center is still being investigated.
The Lebanese Government is putting the port’s managers under house arrest while it pieces together how the Russian-owned cargo ignited. Many here are blaming the country’s ruling elite after reports surfaced suggesting officials had repeatedly warned that dangerous chemicals needed to be removed.
So few in Beirut were spared, including a little girl, Sophie, in intensive care whose brain is bleeding from shattered glass. Her parents say they also lost their home. Sophie’s mother said, “I tried to protect her, but I couldn’t…”
There are still some moments of hope, like when rescuers pulled a man from the rubble 16 hours after the explosion.
There’s also music. 78-year-old May Melki survived Lebanon’s 15-year civil war, and later, conflicts with Israel. Her home may now be in ruins but her piano skills and resolve are as strong as ever. Melki commented, “Each time these catastrophes happen, we stand up and start again.”
No further information has been released about the American who was killed or those injured, but a vast search and rescue effort continues.
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