FBI: Beirut blast only small part of total chemicals unloaded in port
UPDATED 5:00 PM PT – Friday, July 30, 2021
The Federal Bureau of Investigation released a new report into the devastating blast in Beirut last year, which confirmed the massive explosion was only part of the total cargo initially unloaded at the port. Reports on Wednesday detailed the FBI’s statement that said more than 550 tons of ammonium nitrate exploded in the city on Aug. 4.
However, in 2013 more than 2,700 tons of the chemicals were unloaded from a Russian cargo ship. Many officials in Lebanon have privately said they believe a lot of the shipment was stolen.
Meanwhile, those in the capital city said their effort to hold officials accountable have been hampered.
— Reuters (@Reuters) July 30, 2021
“The blast happened after the collapse and both clearly made it evident that they wouldn’t have happened if there was minimum accountability in Lebanon,” said Nizar Saghieh, head of research and advocacy. “But for 30 years, we were building a very strong and enabling system that leads to a total escape from punishment.”
The FBI report doesn’t provide an indication into where the remaining chemicals may have gone. More than 200 people died and thousands more were injured in what was described as one of the largest non-nuclear explosions ever recorded.