It is believed many of the containers were punctured last week during the massive explosion that occurred at a port warehouse.
By AARON REICH, REUTERS
It is believed many of the containers were punctured last week during the massive explosion that occurred at a port warehouse, a French chemical expert told AP in a TV interview.
Neither Lt. Anthony nor Lebanese officials told AP about what chemicals were involved, or provided any further details. However, Anthony did suggest that “There are also other flammable liquids in other containers, there are also batteries, or other kind of products which could increase the risk of potential explosion.”
It is currently unclear if there could be any more potentially dangerous containers, with the cleanup teams only being assigned to a specific zone, Anthony told AP.
The cleanup teams, coming from France and Italy, were sent as part of the aid sent by several nations to Beirut, following the massive explosion at the port last week. The explosion, believed to be caused by the storage of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, resulted in the deaths of at least 160 people and injured thousands more.
The Lebanese government had been informed about the storage of ammonium nitrate in July, just two weeks before the explosion, and were warned of the risk of a possible explosion that had the potential of destroying a large chunk of the city, according to documents seen by Reuters.
The explosion came during an ongoing financial crisis in Lebanon, whose economy suffering severely amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition, the explosion also sparked a new wave of protests against the regime, demanding that the government resign.
The Lebanese government has long been believed to be plagued by corruption and Iranian influence.
Following widespread calls by protesters as well as by members of the French government, Diab announced the full resignation of the government due to endemic corruption.