Firefighters douse Beirut port fire caused by welding works
A cloud of black, acrid smoke was seen in the port a month after an explosion devastated the port and its surrounding areas
Firefighters and army helicopters in Lebanon’s capital city of Beirut put out a huge fire at the port on 10 September and 11 September, barely a month after a massive explosion devastated the port and the surrounding area on 4 August, 2020.
The fire was sparked by welding work during repair and reconstruction efforts aimed at overcoming the damage caused by the port explosion.
A cloud of black, acrid smoke was seen in the port area, disconcerting people in Beirut who are grappling with an economic crisis, and still coming to terms with the port explosion from a month ago.
Bahrain’s civil defense said that firefighters extinguished the flames, after working through the night, and cooling the site to avoid it flaring up again.
Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun also called for a swift investigation at a meeting with the Bahrain’s Supreme Defence Council to rule out whether the fire could have been caused by sabotage, technical error, or negligence, according to the state-run Bahrain News Agency.
Construction Week reported on 1 September that Lebanon will need $2.2bn for Phase 1 of reconstruction – which is due to complete in December 2021.
The initial losses caused by the Beirut explosion amounted to approximately $8.1bn. More than 182 people died, more than 6,000 people were wounded, and more than 300,000 people were displaced from their homes due to the blast. The explosion also caused significant property damage at the port, its surroundings, and across Beirut.