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Part of the silos in the port of Beirut collapsed;  Internet says incident rekindles trauma of 2020 explosion


Lebanon’s interim government transport and public works minister Ali Hamie told Reuters he feared other parts of the silos could collapse.

A Lebanese army helicopter flies over the scene where an explosion hit the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon. PA

Part of the grain silos at the port of Beirut in Lebanon collapsed on Sunday July 31, days before the anniversary of the August 4 explosion at the same location that killed hundreds of people.

A video shows part of the silos collapsing, sending up a cloud of dust. There were no immediate reports of casualties in the incident.

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The video caused a wave of anger against the Lebanese government.

Several users accused the government of living in denial and neglecting the site of the explosion.

Many users wrote that watching these images brought back their traumatic memories of the port explosion in 2020.

Some said the government did nothing while part of the silos were on fire.

A fire had broken out in the north block of the silos weeks ago due to summer heat which had ignited fermenting grains left there since the Beirut explosion in 2020. According to a Associated press report, authorities and firefighters were unable to extinguish the fire. Lebanese officials had also warned that the silos could fall after the northern section began to tilt at an accelerated rate.

The Minister of Transport and Public Works of the Lebanese interim government, Ali Hamie, said Reuters that he fears that other parts of the silos will collapse.

The silos recall the Beirut port explosion in 2020, one of the most powerful non-nuclear explosions on record. The explosion was caused by tons of ammonium nitrate that had been stored in dangerous conditions at the port since 2013. The incident killed more than 200 people, injured more than 6,000 and decimated entire neighborhoods, leaving thousands homeless. The 48-meter-tall silos served as a blast shield for the western part of Beirut.

The Lebanese government announced in April that it would destroy the silos, angering the families of the victims, who wanted to keep the building in memory of the explosion. Last week, their parliament failed to pass a law that would have protected the site from demolition.

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