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Grain silos in Beirut port are in danger of collapse

Grain silos in Beirut port are in danger of collapse

The Lebanese Prime Minister warned, on Wednesday, of the danger of the collapse of the grain silos in the port of Beirut, a few days before the second anniversary of the deadly explosion in this fence that destroyed entire neighborhoods in the capital.

“The silos in the northern part are in danger of collapsing,” Najib Mikati said in a statement quoting the environment minister.

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This warning comes two weeks after a fire broke out in the most affected part of the silos, due to the fermentation of the remaining grain stocks, according to authorities and experts, accompanied by high temperatures.

This fire rekindled the trauma of the relatives of the victims of the August 4, 2020 explosion, which left more than 200 people dead and 6,500 injured.

Mr. Mikati called on the authorities to “prevent port employees or civil defense personnel and firefighters from approaching it for safety reasons.” The army and the Disaster Management Directorate also called for “high preparedness in the event of a partial collapse of the structure.”

According to the Lebanese Ministry of Environment, the southern part of the silos is “stable” so far.

Authorities said parts of the silos still contained about 3,000 tons of wheat and other grains that could not be removed due to the risk of collapse.

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On Monday, the Ministries of Environment and Health issued recommendations to the public in the event of the collapse of the silos, including the necessity of evacuating the area, wearing masks and closing windows in their places of residence.

Lebanon in April ordered the silos to be demolished, but the decision was suspended due to opposition from relatives of the victims of the tragedy, who want to make it a place of remembrance.

Lebanon celebrates the second anniversary of the explosion on the fourth of August, while the investigation into the causes of the tragedy has been suspended for months due to political obstacles.