A month after Beirut was rocked by an explosion that killed more than 190 people and injured around 6,500, a warehouse caught fire on Thursday (September 10) afternoon sending huge flames in the air and orange flames leaping from the ground.
The Lebanese army said the fire is at a warehouse where oil and tyres are placed and that army helicopters have been called in to control the blaze.
The head of Lebanon’s Red Cross, George Kettaneh, said there was no fear of another explosion as a result of the flames and said there were no injuries, although he said there were some people suffering from shortness of breath as a result.
Associated Press reported that panicked residents cracked open windows and called each other to warn them of the new fire. Local TV stations said the companies that have offices near the port have asked their employees to leave the area. Lebanese troops closed the major road that passes near the port referring traffic to other areas.
Beirut Gov. Marwan Abboud and authorities called on people to stay away from roads leading to the port to allow fire engines to move quickly.
The August 4 explosion killed more than 190 people, injured about 6,500 and damaged thousands of buildings in the Lebanese capital. The residents, traumatized by last month’s explosion, got scared by another fire.
Television footage showed firefighters trying to douse the blaze in an area surrounded by the mangled remains of warehouses that were destroyed in the explosion last month.
The blast was caused by a huge store of ammonium nitrate that had been kept at the port in poor condition for years.