September 26, 2022

La Ronge Northerner

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The collapse of a new silo in the port of Beirut repeats the shock caused by the explosion |  News

The collapse of a new silo in the port of Beirut repeats the shock caused by the explosion | News

Clouds of dust rise above the port after the collapse that brought down the last northern silo block.

The northern part of the granaries damaged two years ago in a deadly explosion in Beirut port collapsed after warnings that the structure was tilting too far to stay elevated.

A cloud of dust rose over the port in the early hours of Tuesday morning after the collapse that brought down eight other silos, which were badly damaged in the blast and where fires have been raging since July.

French civil engineer Emmanuel Durand, who installed sensors in the silos, said the remaining southern bloc was more stable and not in imminent danger of collapse.

The 50-year-old silos, which are 48 meters (157 feet) high, absorbed much of the impact when tons of improperly stored ammonium nitrate fertilizer soared in a massive explosion on August 4, 2020. The silos were effectively protecting the western part of Beirut from The explosion that killed more than 200 people.

Part of the silos collapsed on July 31 and another section fell on August 4, the second anniversary of the explosion.

The silos have been on fire for more than a month as the remaining grain stocks ferment in the summer heat.

On Sunday, the Ministry of Health said that samples from across the port showed that the air contained large amounts of common mold, which would not be dangerous unless it was inhaled in large quantities over a long period of time.

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In April, the government ordered the silos to be demolished but the operation was suspended, in part due to objections from relatives of blast victims who want to keep them as a memorial.

They also emphasized that the silos may contain evidence useful for the judicial investigation into the explosion.

Survivors of the blast and residents near the port said watching the flames from their homes and offices was reminiscent of the shock they had experienced from the blast.

Public Works Minister Ali Hamiya announced last week that the government had agreed to reserve 25,000 square meters (270,000 square feet) of the port for the construction of new grain silos.

This is larger than the current complex which occupies an area of ​​21,000 square meters (226,000 square feet).

Hamiya said the funding will come from international donors as well as the government, which has gone bankrupt due to a severe financial crisis.