1 out of 9 Articles

Beirut Explosion Result of Years of Government Corruption

In Lebanon, citizens are accustomed to fury at the government, with the crumbling economy, hours-long electricity cuts, and an armed group dominating much of the country’s politics.

But the shock and horror following Tuesday night’s explosion at the Beirut port, which has claimed over 135 lives so far and left thousands wounded, marked a new low for an already demoralized public. In the midst of one of the worst crises in Lebanon’s history, the catastrophe marked what many called a new, painful nadir.

Though the source of the blast remains unconfirmed, most of the evidence so far points to government negligence, and many Lebanese seem to agree. The official government account indicates that 2,750 metric tons (about 3,000 tons) of highly explosive ammonium nitrate ignited Tuesday night, according to Lebanese Public Security Director Abbas Ibrahim. The explosive material had been idling in the harbor since 2013.

An investigation by Al-Jazeera found repeated letters from Customs Director Badri Daher asking for the cache of ammonium nitrate to be removed. No action was ever taken by authorities. (TOI / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you heal those who have been wounded, rescue those who have yet to be found, and bring peace to those who have lost so much.”