A giant fire broke out on Thursday in the port of Beirut, a few weeks after the explosion. The fire came from a warehouse where engine oil and car wheels are stored.
A giant fire broke out on Thursday, September 10, in a warehouse in the port of Beirut and saw panic among Lebanese who are still shocked by the deadly and devastating explosion that traumatized the capital five weeks ago.
Thick columns of black smoke are visible from several places in the capital. The fire hit a warehouse where engine oil and car wheels are stored, the Lebanese military said in a statement.
The fire broke out in the port’s free zone, where tires and edible oils were stored by an importing company, the port’s CEO, Bassem al-Kaissi, told a local television station.
The fire “started with cans of oil before spreading to the tires”, he added without being able to specify the origin. “It’s either because of the heat or a mistake, it’s still too early to know,” the director continued.
According to an AFP correspondent, the Lebanese army’s civil defense and helicopter team worked to put out the fire. Security forces closed roads near the port to traffic. Lebanese Red Cross chief George Kettaneh ruled out the risk of another explosion, adding that a few people had suffered breathing difficulties, but no injuries were reported.
Civilian defense trucks were sent to the scene of the fire, while the military deployed helicopters to try to extinguish the flames.
On social media, many videos show a large fireball and thick columns of black smoke. The Arabic hashtag #PortdeBeyrouth is among the most used on Twitter.
“Crazy fire in the port and causing panic throughout Beirut. We can not take a break,” Human Rights Watch (HRW) researcher Aya Majzoub lamented on Twitter.
On August 4, a giant port explosion, triggered by fire, destroyed entire parts of the capital, killing at least 190 people and over 6,500 others.
With AFP and Reuters