The German company Combi Lift is going to collect 52 containers of chemicals from the port of the Lebanese capital Beirut. The company ships them to Germany where they are kept under safer conditions.
The removal of the containers should make the port safer after the massive explosion in August. That explosion in the harbor killed 211 people and injured more than 6,000 people. A large part of the port and the city was destroyed.
German Ambassador to Lebanon Andreas Kindl tweeted that the 52 containers with dangerous chemicals are ready and the containers are ready to be shipped.
According to the official reading of the authorities, 2750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate was the cause of the explosion. That substance, like the chemicals in these 52 containers, was stored in the port of Beirut for years. According to Kindl, the contents of the containers were a danger to the inhabitants of the city.
Since the explosion, the authorities have been afraid of all kinds of chemicals stored in the port. A month after the disaster, the army was called in for an inspection. Military then found another 4.3 tons of ammonium nitrate. That was destroyed later.
Lebanon and Germany agreed in November on the disposal of containers, a cost of EUR 3.6 million. The port authorities of Beirut pay 2 million and the German government the rest.
This week, the Beirut explosion was six months ago. But many residents still live in broken houses: