They have a great symbolic character – and should still be torn down. But now the grain silos are burning in Beirut.
Beirut – In the port of the Lebanese capital Beirut, firefighters have been fighting a fire at grain silos for two weeks. On Tuesday, smoke was still rising from the tall silos that many saw as a symbol of the 2020 disaster, a reporter from the German Press Agency observed.
On Monday, the authorities had warned of the silos collapsing. In this case, residents are instructed to wear masks and stay at home.
In August 2020, a massive explosion occurred in the port of Beirut. At that time, more than 190 people died and around 6,000 were injured. The port and large parts of the adjacent residential areas were destroyed. Large quantities of the highly explosive chemical ammonium nitrate, which had previously been stored in the port for years without protective measures, detonated. To this day, authorities have not explained exactly how the substance got into the port.
A representative for the bereaved said the families of the victims are angry and sad that the silos are about to collapse. They are still symbol and proof of the misfortune.
In April, the authorities decided to demolish the silos against the resistance of bereaved relatives. Experts suspect that the silos absorbed part of the force of the explosion and thus prevented even greater damage. The relatives of the victims want to keep the silos as a symbol of remembrance – at least until the investigation into the explosion has been completed. dpa