A wounded person is carried after the blast. People walk near the scene of the explosion. What about the origins of the 2,750 tons of chemical in Beirut? Daher confirmed to CNN earlier on Wednesday that his office sent "a total of six letters to the legal authorities" but that the authorities never responded to any of their letters. This aerial photo, taken Wednesday, shows the aftermath of the explosion. The Russian-owned ship, named … 4 months ago. Ammonium nitrate stored at site of massive Beirut explosion: Officials More than 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate was stored in the Beirut warehouse that was the scene of Tuesday's deadly … A person hugs French President Emmanuel Macron during his visit to the Gemmayzeh neighborhood in Beirut on Thursday. "We were asked to fix a door of the warehouse by State Security and we did that at noon, but what occurred in the afternoon I have no idea," he said. Hundreds of people have been reported missing. Damage is seen inside an apartment on Wednesday. Christelle Helou hugs the coffin of her cousin Nicole in Sarba, Lebanon, on Thursday. While the company was aware that the vessel had been detained in Beirut and later impounded by Lebanese officials, the spokesperson insisted "that was absolutely out of our control. ", Kraytem too said that the issue of removing the explosive material had been brought up by State Security and Customs -- but that the issue had not been "resolved.". "People are asking the emergency department about their loved ones, and it is difficult to search at night because there is no electricity," Health Minister Hamad Hassan. Ammonium nitrate, which Lebanese authorities have said caused the devastating Beirut blast, is an odourless crystalline substance commonly used as a fertilizer that has been the cause of … Here's what you told us, Doctor who discovered Ebola warns of deadly viruses yet to come, British man becomes viral sensation after interview with CNN, Dancing doctors celebrate coronavirus vaccine arrival, Jupiter and Saturn appear closer than they have for 800 years, Video shows Navalny on the phone with Russian spy, Cancer survivor explains why vulnerable need vaccine sooner. The devastating explosion in Beirut that killed at least 100 people and wounded thousands hit the Lebanese capital with the force of a 3.5-magnitude earthquake. Senegalese officials say they have asked for 2,700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate – the chemical which caused a huge explosion in Beirut – to be removed from Dakar. All the Lebanese political factions maintain a presence at the port … A man carries his belongings as he leaves his destroyed house on Thursday. Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab said 2,750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate that had been stored for years in a Beirut portside warehouse had blown up, killing dozens of people and … Lebanese soldiers search for survivors on Wednesday. A cloud of orange smoke is seen rising above Beirut, Aug. 4, 2020. By Mary Ilyushina, Katie Polglase and Ali Younes, CNN. A Lebanese army helicopter flies over Beirut on Wednesday. "That quantity -- it's far less than what we use in a month of consumption," the source said. So, when that happened, we knew it was probably for us," the spokesperson said. CNN's Kareem Khadder, Schams Elwazer, Rob Picheta and Laura Smith-Spark contributed to this story. For an industrial ammonium nitrate disaster to occur, a lot needs to go wrong. Fábrica de Explosivos Moçambique (FEM), a Mozambican explosives manufacturing company, told CNN that they were the ones who originally ordered the ammonium nitrate that was left at Beirut's port for nearly seven years. ", On Wednesday, the Director General of Beirut Port Hassan Kraytem told local television channel OTV: "We stored the material in warehouse number 12 at Beirut port in accordance with a court order. Adding, "there are some countries in the world with an annual consumption of over 1 million tons. A wounded man is helped as he walks through debris following the explosion. If the ammonium nitrate in Beirut was stored in wooden or cardboard containers, it would have made the substance incredibly flammable, says Jimmie Oxley, a chemist at the University of … Rescue crews search a street for survivors on Tuesday night. Following the destruction caused by ammonium nitrate exploding at Beirut's port, there are concerns globally about its storage. ", Drone footage shows the scale of destruction in Beirut. The September 2013 shipment of ammonium nitrate began in Georgia, where the chemical compound was produced. Tragically, this seems to have been the case in Beirut, writes Gabriel da Silva. An ammonium nitrate explosion produces massive amounts of nitrogen oxides. the substance that ultimately exploded in Beirut, France has sent an aid package to Lebanon, Live updates: Beirut explosion rocks Lebanon's capital city, Ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse linked to catastrophic Beirut explosion. But public court documents CNN obtained through the prominent Lebanese human rights activist, Wadih Al-Asmar, reveal that Daher and his predecessor, Merhi, turned to Beirut's courts to help dispose of the dangerous goods multiple times from 2014 onwards. "This is a catastrophic regulatory failure because regulations on the storage of ammonium nitrate are typically very clear. The Beirut neighborhood of Mar Mikhael sits in ruins. Beirut explosion: How ammonium nitrate caused deadly blast in Lebanon An explosion at a warehouse in the Port of Beirut on Tuesday killed more than 100 people and left more than 4,000 … A man reacts at the scene soon after the explosion. "Due to the extreme danger posed by this stored items in unsuitable climate conditions, we reiterate our request to the Port Authorities to re-export the goods immediately to maintain the safety of the port and those working in it," Daher's predecessor, Chafic Merhi, wrote in a 2016 letter addressed to a judge involved in the case. Once the ammonium nitrate reached Warehouse 12, it became snarled in the murky limbo of Beirut's notoriously corrupt port. It was then kept in that hangar for six years, despite repeated warnings from the Director of Lebanese Customs, Badri Daher, of the "extreme danger" that the cargo posed. Ammonium nitrate - identified as the cause of the deadly explosion in Beirut - is an odourless crystalline substance used as a fertilizer that has been behind many industrial explosions … "On Wednesday there was some news saying that the cargo was originally intended to go to Mozambique. Lebanese Red Cross officers carry an injured woman on Tuesday night. A statue representing the Lebanese expatriate is seen Wednesday in front of a building that was damaged by the explosion. Nigerian government: Military has rescued all kidnapped schoolboys, How Chinese government tries to silence overseas Uyghurs, Boko Haram claims responsibility for kidnapping, prompting fear of increasing influence, See inside Korean CCTV unit contact tracing citizens, See total solar eclipse in parts of South America. Ammonium nitrate, a white chemical substance that often comes in the form of small crystal balls and is used as fertilizer as well as for bomb making, was inappropriately stored in a … They added that FEM then purchased another order of ammonium nitrate to replace the lost one and that one was delivered. Lebanese soldiers watch as a helicopter fights a fire at the scene of the explosion. And it's with great sorrow that we see that," they added. Wounded people wait to received help outside a hospital. Documents newly reviewed by CNN reveal that a shipment of 2,750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate arrived in Beirut on a Russian-owned vessel in 2013. The ammonium nitrate never made it to Mozambique, the source said, and instead was kept in a container at Beirut's port for over six years before exploding earlier this week. A woman, whose son is said to be missing after Tuesday's explosion, waits outside Beirut's port on Thursday to receive information from rescue teams. On Aug. 4, a devastating explosion struck the area around a port in Beirut. Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced. A rescue worker walks along a pile of rubble at the explosion site in Beirut, Lebanon, on Saturday, August 8. Senegalese officials … A building's facade is shattered after Tuesday's explosion. Firefighters work at the scene on Tuesday. Perhaps the closest comparison to Beirut's explosion, in terms of scale, is a blast in Texas City in 1947, which was caused by 2,300 US tons (about 2,087 metric tons) of ammonium nitrate. The order of ammonium nitrate was intended for manufacturing explosives for mining companies in Mozambique, the spokesperson said. On 4 August 2020, a large amount of ammonium nitrate stored at the port of the city of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, exploded, causing at least 204 deaths, 6,500 injuries, and US$15 billion in property damage, and leaving an estimated 300,000 people homeless. The shipment never made it to Mozambique, the source said. Ammonium nitrate has been implicated in deadly industrial explosions in the past, and is known to require careful handling. The spokesperson revealed that the Mozambican company only learnt of their involvement in the story from news reports on Wednesday that talked of a destination in Mozambique. Marada Movement chief Suleiman Franjieh on Thursday distanced his ally Hizbullah from the ammonium nitrate shipment that exploded at Beirut port and instead pointed the finger at … A Russian rescue worker and dog search the Beirut port on Friday. "In our memos 19320/2014 dated 5/12/2014 and 5/6/2015 [...] we requested that your honor order the responsible Port Authorities to re-export Ammonium Nitrate that was taken off the Rhosus ship and placed in Customs hangar number 12 in Beirut port," Daher wrote in 2017. The resulting fire caused an explosion and additional fires that damaged more than 1,000 buildings and killed nearly 400 people, according to the website of the Texas Historical Association. ", The spokesperson said that colleagues at the company were very "surprised" to learn how long the chemical had been stored at the port as "that's not a material that you want to have stored without having any use for it." Large crowds, chanting "revolution, revolution,". The ship, named the MV … Rescue workers search for missing people at the site of the explosion. CNN Sans ™ & © 2016 Cable News Network. At points, he even offered to sell the dangerous cargo to the Lebanese army, according to the court documents, but to no avail. Lebanese soldiers stand guard in front of destroyed ships Thursday. It was transported on the Russian ship, Rhosus, which docked in Beirut, where the chemical compound had been in storage for more than six years. According to emails exchanged by Prokoshev and a Beirut-based lawyer Charbel Dagher, who represented the crew in Lebanon, the ammonium nitrate was unloaded in Beirut's port by November 2014 and stored in a hangar. The red-orange smoke plume was one of the first clues that ammonium nitrate was involved in the explosion in Beirut. People run for cover following the explosion. The vessel was owned by a company called Teto Shipping which members of the crew said was owned by Igor Grechushkin, a Khabarovsk businessman who resided in Cyprus. People walk Wednesday along a road littered with debris and abandoned vehicles. The explosion was near the port in the Lebanese capital. "So, we never paid for it, we never received it.". Bachar Ghattas, an eyewitness, described scenes of chaos: "You can see injured people all over the streets in Beirut, glass all over the place, cars are damaged. "It's absolutely massive and devastating to see all of that (the events in Beirut). What has Denmark done right in its Covid-19 responses? "According to our information, the Russian crew was later repatriated to their homeland... the salaries were not paid," the union told CNN. Asked in a telephone interview if there are any early findings in the investigations related to the cause of the explosion, she said, "There are no preliminary results or clarification.". "Both of these things will be questioned in the investigation into the Beirut explosion, because they had such a large amount of ammonium nitrate, which may not have been stored appropriately, and in an area where there is a large number of people," he added. Firefighters use a water hose on flaming debris. A woman and her sister-in-law show a photo of a missing man on Friday. Once in Beirut, the MV Rhosus was detained by local port authorities due to "gross violations in operating a vessel," unpaid fees to the port, and complaints filed by the Russian and Ukrainian crew , according to the Seafarers' Union of Russia (affiliated with the International Transport Workers' Federation, or ITF), which represented the Russian sailors, told CNN. (AFP) ", The source added, "it's a dangerous material, it's a very powerful oxidizer and is used for producing explosives. CNN made several unsuccessful attempts to reach Grechushkin on a Cyprus telephone number. How 2,750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate ended up in Beirut, Tensions high in Dover as stranded drivers seen shouting at police, We asked people around the world to reflect on 2020. The explosion erupted in the Beirut’s port area late afternoon on Tuesday, with videos showing a fire burning in a building in the area before an enormous blast. An investigation into the explosion was announced by Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab. "And unfortunately, we see our name attached, even though we have absolutely no part in it. A man leaves his damaged house on Thursday. In 2013, the MV Rhosus set off from Batumi, Georgia, destined for Mozambique, according to the vessel's path and the account of its captain Boris Prokoshev. This satellite image, obtained by CNN from Planet Labs Inc., shows a massive crater at the site of Tuesday's explosion. A helicopter fights a fire Tuesday at the scene of the explosion. Debris litters the floor of the Lebanese Parliament on Wednesday. The ammonium nitrate arrived in Beirut in the fall of 2013 on a Russian-owned cargo ship, the Rhosus, the ship's then-captain, … The ammonium nitrate never made it to Mozambique, the source said, and instead was kept in a container at Beirut's port for over six years before exploding earlier this week. "At the time, on board of the dry cargo ship there were particularly dangerous goods -- ammonium nitrate, which the port authorities of Beirut did not allow to unload or transfer to another ship," it added. "Usually, when you place an order for whatever it is that you're buying, it's not common that you don't get the goods. A damaged hospital room is seen on Wednesday. People gather by damaged buildings after the blast. She told Jordan's state-owned channel Al Mamlaka that the exchange is being considered in relation to the potential cause of the deadly Beirut blast. CNN agreed not to publish the spokesperson's name due to the employee's privacy concerns amid a sensitive international story. 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