World Port of Beirut gradually cleared of dangerous containers

Port of Beirut gradually cleared of dangerous containers

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648x415 port beyrouth apres explosion aout

The port of Beirut, after the August explosion – Elizabeth Fitt / SIPA

Lebanon signed a contract with the German company Combi Lift to rid the port of Beirut of 49 containers containing flammable chemicals, several months after the deadly and devastating explosion.

The German carrier, which was already working in the port, began to evacuate the containers shortly after the contract was signed on November 11, a spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s office said on Thursday. No details were given on their destination or what would happen to them.

Stored for over a decade

These containers, some of which carried corrosive acids, had been stored in an open area for more than a decade under the supervision of the Lebanese customs authority. Combi Lift must transport these chemical materials in special containers under a contract of 3.6 million dollars, including 2 million dollars paid by the port authority, according to media.

The presence of these containers has been worrying since the huge explosion on August 4 which killed more than 200 people, injured at least 6,500 others and devastated entire districts of the capital. Authorities said the explosion was caused by the burning of a large amount of ammonium nitrate stored in the port for years.

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