It’s one of the biggest human tragedies the Middle East has ever seen that’s not a war. Last night an accident in the city of Beirut, Lebanon led to the death of over 100 people, injuring 4,000 and making another 250,000 homeless as a fire broke out by the port, resulting in a nearby chemical warehouse exploding. The chemicals included common fertilisers used by the farming industry. Storing them should be under strict rules, yet it’s believed that in Beirut these guidelines weren’t being followed and that military-grade explosions used for bombs were in the warehouse at the same time. These dangerous chemicals, 2,750 tonnes of them, were there for six years when they shouldn’t have been.
An investigation is now underway into the ‘5th largest accidental explosion on the planet’ and three days of mourning have been declared in the country but that doesn’t take away the human cost it’s left to deal with, alongside its current financial crisis and coping with the coronavirus pandemic.
Last year mass protests broke out in Lebanon as it struggled to deal with having some of the highest debts in the world and suspected government corruption. Clashes between citizens and police led to mass violence and still raw from these wounds, the people of Lebanon are now dealing with this new blow.