Ship owner files lawsuit against those responsible for Beirut port explosion

Marco Green
August 8, 2020

The blast at Beirut's port left over 150 people dead, injured more than 5,000, and left hundreds of thousands of people homeless.

Visiting French President Emmanuel Macron told enraged Lebanese who mobbed him in Beirut on Thursday that global aid would not be passed to "corrupt hands".

World leaders have joined the chorus of voices in Lebanon and the diaspora demanding an global inquiry into the cause of the devastation.

Lebanon is facing the "triple tragedy of the socio-economic crisis, COVID-19 and the ammonium nitrate explosion", Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said, urging Lebanese leaders to "overcome political stalemates and address the grievances of the population".

"Shocked and saddened, we stand with all those affected and will provide help", Mr Michel tweeted, announcing meetings with President Michel Aoun, parliamentary speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Hassan Diab.

Lebanon's investigation has so far led to at least 21 arrests, including Beirut port's general manager Hassan Koraytem, along with other customs officials and port engineers.

"It's unclear right now what exactly caused this explosion", Fox News Channel's foreign correspondent Trey Yingst told "Fox & Friends" Friday, noting that Pentagon officials have said they do not believe this was any sort of outside incident and looks to be an accident.

Worldwide leaders are also calling for widespread reform of Lebanon's governance system.

The measures did not dampen the anger in Beirut's streets, where dozens of demonstrators scuffled with security forces late Thursday drawing a volley of tear gas.

Lebanon's leadership was already deeply unpopular, with a wave of mass protests that erupted in October a year ago only abating in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Four bodies were uncovered near the port's control room Friday, where a significant number of people were expected to have been working at the time of the blast.

Damaged hospitals, already strained by the coronavirus pandemic, are still struggling to deal with the wounded.

Dozens more were being interrogated by Lebanon's military court, which is focusing on administrative and security officials at the port as well as government authorities who may have ignored warnings about explosive materials.

Nova Scotia will be giving $1 million in aid to the Lebanese Red Cross following a massive explosion in that country's capital.

"Announcements of additional aid and assistance are forthcoming", it added.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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