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'Second Beirut bomb' removed from port by German firm

A German firm has removed numerus containers holding hazardous chemicals from the port of Lebanon’s capital Beirut [Andreas Kindl, German Ambassador to Lebanon/Twitter]
A German firm has removed numerus containers holding hazardous chemicals from the port of Lebanon’s capital Beirut [Andreas Kindl, German Ambassador to Lebanon/Twitter]

A German firm has removed numerous containers holding hazardous chemicals from the port of Lebanon's capital Beirut, which are set to be shipped out of the country half a year after the catastrophic blast that destroyed the city.

Germany's Ambassador to Lebanon Andreas Kindl announced the move taken by the company Combi Lift yesterday, writing on Twitter that it "treated 52 containers of hazardous and dangerous chemical material that had been accumulated over decades and were a threat to the people in Beirut."

According to the British news agency Reuters, the hazardous material found at the port months ago amounts to almost 4,000 tonnes, which is far more than the 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored at the port that caused the Beirut explosion on 4 August last year.

The chemicals found by Combi Lift were reportedly corrosive acids and not ammonium nitrate, but they allegedly still have the capability to cause another explosion, with the director of the firm saying that "what we found here was a second Beirut bomb."

The containers holding the chemicals are set to be shipped to Germany.

WATCH: 6 months from the Beirut blast, there's still no hope of justice

Kindl also stated on Twitter that Germany recently provided over €2 million ($2.4 million) to the Lebanese military in order "to rebuild the naval base that was destroyed after the blast." He criticised the lack of work that had been completed with that money, however, said that "sunken/wrecked ships…offices, quayside, contaminated soil", are still visible and at large when entering the area.

Despite it being reported last month that Syrian businessmen were responsible for bringing the ammonium nitrate to the Beirut port in 2013, the fact that it laid at the port and was not removed by Lebanese authorities for all those years has long been attributed to corruption amongst officials.

Following the blast in August, it was predicted by many that the rampant corruption would result in the misappropriation of funds and donations being sent to Lebanon by other states and the international community, leading to questions over how the €2 million provided by Germany was subsequently spent.

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Europe & RussiaGermanyLebanonMiddle EastNews
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