BEIRUT: A store of oil and tyres at Beirut port caught fire on Thursday (Sep 10), a military source said, a little more than a month after a massive blast devastated the port and the surrounding residential area in the Lebanese capital.
The fire erupted in the duty free zone of the port, sending a huge column of smoke above the city. The military source said the cause of the blaze was not immediately clear.
Television footage showed firefighters trying to douse the blaze at the port, where warehouses and concrete grain silos were shattered by the Aug 4 blast.
About 190 people were killed in last month’s explosion and a swathe of Beirut near the port was ruined. The blast was caused by a huge store of ammonium nitrate that had been kept at the port in poor condition for years.
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One month on, seven people are still listed as missing.
The huge explosion had left 300,000 people homeless and caused US$15 billion in direct damage. A total of 50,000 houses, nine major hospitals and 178 schools were also damaged in the blast.
Following the disaster, the Lebanese government resigned. The country's prime minister-designate Mustapha Adib pledged on Sep 2 to form a 'government of experts' to drive desperately needed reforms in the disaster-hit and economically ailing country.