Beirut: More of Beirut’s iconic grain silos collapsed at the port on Thursday, as the city marked the second anniversary of the deadly explosion in the same area that caused extensive destruction.
Two silos in the northern part of the port collapsed on Thursday, civil defence volunteers on the scene said, after two columns crumbled on Sunday.
The silos fell after a fire had burned through the structures for several weeks, scattering tonnes of grains amid hot weather. Authorities have not stated what caused the blaze.
The collapse of the silos has left the port area full of smoke and dust. The damage for many recalled the fire that triggered the explosion of tonnes of improperly stored ammonium nitrate in 2020 and came as dozens of families of those who died in the disaster gathered near the port area.
More than 190 people were killed and 6,000 more were injured in the explosion on August 4, 2020, that destroyed large parts of Beirut and displaced some 300,000 people. On Thursday, some of the victims’ families shouted: “We want justice for our children.” The crowd carried white empty coffins and demanded an investigation, with no results released so far. “This is an open wound,” read one placard at the protest.
Experts have said that the silos in the area absorbed much of the impact of the blast two years ago, sparing the city even worse damage.
The families and activists have called on the government to preserve the silos to remind people of Lebanon’s worst peacetime tragedy. Their pleas followed a decision by the Lebanese authorities in April to tear down the silos. — Agencies