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Explosion in Beirut
#11
Beirut

Was ist über die Explosionen bekannt?

Stand: 05.08.2020 08:13 Uhr

Die Ursache für die Explosionen in Beirut ist noch unklar. Libanons Premier führt sie auf Ammoniumnitrat zurück, der US-Präsident spekuliert in eine andere Richtung. Ein Überblick.

Was ist passiert?

In der libanesischen Hauptstadt Beirut haben sich am Dienstag mehrere Explosionen in der Nähe des Hafens ereignet. Auf Videos vom Vorfall ist zunächst ein Brand zu sehen - ob dieser die Ursache für die Katastrophe war, ist aber noch unklar. In der Rauchsäule des Brandes sind mehrere kleinere Explosionen zu sehen, die an Feuerwerkskörper erinnern. Kurz darauf folgen eine gewaltige Detonation mit einer Wolke, die pilzförmig in den Himmel aufsteigt, und eine Druckwelle, die sich blitzschnell kreisförmig nach außen ausbreitet.

Durch die Wucht der Explosion zersplitterten Glasscheiben in kilometerweiter Entfernung, Straßen waren mit Trümmern und Glasscherben übersät. Große Teile des Hafens wurden vollständig zerstört und umliegende Stadtgebiete verwüstet. Kurz nach der Explosion fielen Telefon und Internet in der Stadt vorübergehend aus.

Noch Stunden später kreisten Hubschrauber über der Gegend, um gegen die Flammen anzukämpfen. Die Detonationen waren im gesamten Land zu hören - und auch im 240 Kilometer entfernten Nikosia auf der Mittelmeerinsel Zypern. Dem Deutschen Geoforschungszentrum GFZ zufolge waren die Erschütterungen mit einem Erdbeben der Stärke 3,5 vergleichbar.

Wie viele Opfer gibt es?

Die vorläufige Zahl der Toten gab das Rote Kreuz am Morgen mit 100 an. Mindestens 3700 Menschen wurden verletzt. Die Suche nach Vermissten geht weiter.

Unter den Verletzten sind auch Mitarbeiter der deutschen Botschaft in Beirut. Angesichts der starken Schäden im Stadtgebiet schloss das Auswärtige Amt nicht aus, dass weitere deutsche Staatsangehörige unter den Todesopfern und Verletzten sein könnten.

Beschädigt wurde zudem ein Schiff der Vereinten Nationen: Blauhelmsoldaten der UN-Mission im Libanon (Unifil) seien verletzt worden, einige von ihnen schwer, hieß es in einer UN-Erklärung.

Die ohnehin schon durch die Corona-Pandemie überlasteten Krankenhäuser der Stadt sind durch die Einlieferungen der zahlreichen Verletzten überfordert. "Es ist eine Katastrophe im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes", sagte Gesundheitsminister Hamad Hassan beim Besuch eines Hospitals.

Welche Erklärungen und Spekulationen gibt es?

Die Ursache der Detonationen ist bisher ungeklärt.

Der libanesische Ministerpräsident Hassan Diab gab an, im Hafen sei eine sehr große Menge Ammoniumnitrat explodiert. Die 2750 Tonnen des Materials seien seit sechs Jahren ohne Vorsichtsmaßnahmen in einem Lagerhaus untergebracht gewesen. Der Sicherheitschef der Regierung, Abbas Ibrahim, sagte, das Ammoniumnitrat sei seinerzeit beschlagnahmt worden. Ein Auslöser für die Explosion des Ammoniumnitrats ist jedoch unbekannt. Die Substanz kann zur Herstellung von Sprengstoff verwendet werden.

US-Präsident Donald Trump spekuliert über einen Anschlag als Ursache der Explosionen. "Ich habe einige unserer großartigen Generäle getroffen, und sie scheinen einfach das Gefühl zu haben, dass es sich hier nicht um eine Art von Fabrikationsexplosion gehandelt hat. (...) Sie scheinen zu glauben, dass es ein Angriff war. Es war eine Art Bombe", sagte Trump am Dienstagabend in Washington. Weder vom Pentagon noch den libanesischen Behörden kamen jedoch irgendwelche öffentlichen Hinweise darauf, dass es sich möglicherweise um einen Anschlag gehandelt haben könnte.

Einige Anwohner berichteten, kurz vor der Explosion Flugzeuge gehört zu haben, was die Gerüchte um einen mutmaßlichen Angriff befeuerte. Zudem kam es zuletzt an der Südgrenze des Landes zu wachsenden Spannungen zwischen der militanten Hisbollah-Miliz und Israel. Dass israelische Militärflugzeuge Beirut überfliegen, ist allerdings nicht ungewöhnlich. Ein Sprecher der israelischen Regierung sagte, Israel "hat nichts zu tun" mit der Explosion. Israel, arabische und befreundete Staaten boten Hilfe an.

(...)


https://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/libano...n-109.html
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#12
Defence Council recommends military oversee security in Beirut

BEIRUT: Lebanon's Higher Defence Council recommended declaring Beirut a disaster-stricken city following a massive explosion, declaring a two-week state of emergency in the capital and handing over security responsibility to military authorities.

A council statement, read live on television, said President Michel Aoun has decided to release 100 billion Lebanese pounds in emergency allocations from the 2020 budget.

It also recommended ahead of a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday that a committee be tasked with investigating the blast and present its findings within five days to mete out the maximum punishment for those responsible.

https://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Lebano...eirut.ashx
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#13
Live-Blog auf Al Jazeera:

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/08/l...25493.html
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#14
Lebanon SITREP: Letter from a Lebanese friend

This was just sent to me by a good Lebanese friend:

Huge disaster, investigation underway, on face value was caused by utter negligence, corruption and incompetence of Lebanese state, but I am one of those that has been stressing that the enemies could have exploited this state negligence and corruption to trigger this disaster through sabotage. Few simple reasons for this, including:

a) this disaster completely serves current US-Israeli efforts to pressure Lebanon economically to bow down to their demands

b) the site of the explosion, Port of Beirut, was the transit through which 50-80% of Lebanon’s commodity and trade needs were met

c) the explosions struck wheat reserves stored there as well, exacerbating the dire economic situation and inflation further

d) Israeli officials few days ago were warning the Resistance that if they struck Israeli army targets (a response to recent Israeli crimes by Resistance was imminent), Lebanon’s infrastructure will be targeted

e) one year ago exactly Israel’s ambassador to UN said at the Security Council that the Port of Beirut had become ‘Hezbollah’s Port’. Lebanese ambassador said this was a direct threat to Lebanon’s civilians and security

f) last but not least, the 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate (that exploded) were reportedly stored there 6 years ago, and they have been described as a ticking time bomb considering the irresponsible way that they were stored. Is it really coincidental that this ticking time bomb goes off today, at the worst possible moment for Lebanon (Country is falling on all levels, coronavirus, US siege at its peak etc)?

So, while initial reports have said this disaster was caused by the utter negligence, corruption and lack of accountability of Lebanese state institutions, an official investigation is currently underway, and the Resistance will certainly be doing its own investigation, because there was no worse possible time for this disaster to occur to Lebanon than today. Sabotage by the enemy must remain a strong possibility (though actually proving that may be difficult).

https://thesaker.is/lebanon-sitrep-lette...se-friend/
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#15
Beirut blast: Tracing the explosives that tore apart the capital

Letters show officials knew of danger posed by ammonium nitrate cargo at Beirut port six years before deadly blast.

(...)

Analysis of public records and documents published online show senior Lebanese officials knew for more than six years that the ammonium nitrate was stored in Hangar 12 of Beirut's port.

And they were well aware of the dangers it posed.

So how did this happen? Here's what we know so far.

The stores of ammonium nitrate arrived in Lebanon in September 2013, on board a Russian-owned cargo vessel flying a Moldovan Flag. The Rhosus, according to information from the ship-tracking site, Fleetmon, was heading from Georgia to Mozambique.

It was forced to dock in Beirut after facing technical problems at sea, according to lawyers representing the boat's crew. But Lebanese officials prevented the vessel from sailing, and eventually, it was abandoned by its owners and crew - information partially corroborated by Fleetmon.

The ship's dangerous cargo was then offloaded and placed in Hangar 12 of Beirut port, a large grey structure facing the country's main north-south highway at the main entrance to the capital.

Months later, on June 27, 2014, then-director of Lebanese Customs Shafik Merhi sent a letter addressed to an unnamed "Urgent Matters judge", asking for a solution to the cargo, according to documents shared online.

Customs officials sent at least five more letters over the next three years - on December 5, 2014, May 6, 2015, May 20, 2016, October 13, 2016, and October 27, 2017 - asking for guidance. They proposed three options: Export the ammonium nitrate, hand it over to the Lebanese Army, or sell it to the privately-owned Lebanese Explosives Company.

One letter sent in 2016 noted there had been "no reply" from judges to previous requests.

It pleaded: "In view of the serious danger of keeping these goods in the hangar in unsuitable climatic conditions, we reaffirm our request to please request the marine agency to re-export these goods immediately to preserve the safety of the port and those working in it, or to look into agreeing to sell this amount" to the Lebanese Explosives Company.

Again, there was no reply.

A year later, Badri Daher, the new Lebanese Customs Administration director, wrote to a judge once again.

In the October 27, 2017, letter, Daher urged the judge to come to a decision on the matter in view of "the danger ... of leaving these goods in the place they are, and to those working there".

Nearly three years later, the ammonium nitrate was still in the hangar.

(...)

The cause of the explosion is still not clear, but many Lebanese were quick to point out what they believe to be the root causes; immense mismanagement in a broken state run by a corrupt political class who they say treat the country's inhabitants with contempt.

It is also not lost on Beirut's residents that this tragedy emanated from the city's port, a public utility known locally as the "Cave of Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves" for the vast amount of state funds that have reportedly been stolen there over the decades.

The allegations include claims that billions of dollars in tax revenue never reached the state treasury due to schemes to undervalue imports, as well as accusations of systematic and widespread bribery to avoid paying customs taxes.

"Beirut is gone and those who ruled this country for the past decades cannot get away with this," Rima Majed, a Lebanese political activist and sociologist said in a tweet.

"They are criminals and this is probably the biggest of their (too many) crimes so far."


https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/08/o...16684.html
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#16
Explosion In Beirut, Lebanon Leaves At Least 100 Dead, Trump Says It Was An Attack

(...)

It is not specifically clear what caused the explosion itself, only what presumably exploded afterwards.

This came on the heels of a formal Israeli denial that it had anything to do with it, which also seemed be echoed by Hezbollah officials.

Zitat:Israeli military sources tell Israeli 10 News reporter: Israel didn't bomb Beirut. The explosion did not occur in a Hezbollah weapons depot. This was not a security-related event. https://t.co/hgDXFVxZdH
— Elizabeth Tsurkov (@Elizrael) August 4, 2020

Initial reports in state media blamed the blast on a major fire at a firecrackers warehouse near the port, that likely spread to nearby buildings.

However, the Prime Minister’s account appeared to be backed by Lebanon’s General Security chief Abbas Ibrahim, who said a “highly explosive material” had been confiscated years earlier and stored in the warehouse, just minutes’ walk from Beirut’s shopping and nightlife districts.

However, US President Donald Trump made a different statement, saying that it was a “bomb of some kind.”

Zitat:Without providing any evidence, President Trump claims the explosion in #Beirut is a result of an attack.
This contradicts the official statement of the Lebanese prime minister. @akhbarpic.twitter.com/QbfiS6DN68
— Jenan Moussa (@jenanmoussa) August 4, 2020

Trump said he had been briefed by “our great generals” and that they “seem to feel” that the explosion was not an accident.

“According to them – they would know better than I would – but they seem to think it was an attack,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “It was a bomb of some kind.”


Zitat:So the President of the United States is (1) once again publicly revealing highly sensitive national security information; or (2) needlessly exacerbating an already tense and fraught reaction to a tragedy—or both.
Must be Tuesday… https://t.co/OvA7Xs7Vvw
— Steve Vladeck (@steve_vladeck) August 4, 2020

Trump essentially either shared classified information, or once again just made baseless claims without evidence.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has also pledged aid after the “horrible tragedy”.

The US Embassy in Lebanon was warned American citizens and residents in the surrounding area of the potential for toxic gases and chemicals in the air.

“There are reports of toxic gases released in the explosion so all in the area should stay indoors and wear masks if available,” the embassy said on its website.

CNN cited experts who claimed that the official cause of the explosion – ammonium nitrate was inconsistent with how the material burned or exploded.

“I’ve done a lot of accident investigations with the government, both national and international, and it is clear to me that this was a large amount of explosives or energetic material stored in a building that caught fire and that fire propagated to the explosives, causing the accident,” said Tony May, a former explosives investigator for the US Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Robert Baer, a former CIA operative with extensive experience in the Middle East said videos of Tuesday’s blast showed that while ammonium nitrate may have been present in the warehouse, he does not believe it was responsible for the massive explosion that ensued.

“It was clearly a military explosive,” he said. “It was not fertilizer like ammonium nitrate. I’m quite sure of that.”
“You look at that orange ball (of fire), and it’s clearly, like I said, a military explosive.”
“It almost looks like an accident,” he said. “It was incompetence, and maybe it was corruption, but the question is whether it was military explosives, who was it going to or why was it stored there?”


https://southfront.org/massive-explosion...an-attack/
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#17
[Bild: EeqKKHqWAAgWnTp?format=jpg&name=large]
 
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#18
Satellitenbilder von Beirut

26. Juli:


[Bild: co2yvzx5.png]

5. August, nach der Explosion:

[Bild: 734t2sjo.png]


Quelle:

https://twitter.com/Samir_Madani/status/...1287660544
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#19
Weiteres Bildmaterial
(via The Sun: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/12312982/b...test-live/
                     https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/12321928/b...ima-blast/ )

Satellitenbilder vom Hafen, vorher und nachher (rechts oben im roten Kreis ein gekentertes Schiff):

[Bild: m786kbxb.png]

Nahaufnahme Explosionskrater (Vorschaubild anklicken, sehr hohe Auflösung - dann Rechtsklick; "Grafik anzeigen"):

[Bild: 9xasxgr8.jpg]

Darstellung Explosions-/Schockwellenauswirkung:

[Bild: 4rwwi86m.png]

Fotosequenz der Explosion(en):

[Bild: zf94axz6.jpg]
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#20
Über den ominösen Frachter "Rhosus", 2014:


Crew kept hostages on a floating bomb – m/v Rhosus, Beirut

Posted in Unfälle von Mikhail Voytenko on Jul 23, 2014 at 08:27.

General cargo vessel Rhosus called Beirut, Lebanon, in October last year. Vessel loaded with ammonium nitrate was destined for another country, the reason she called Beirut is unclear, maybe for supplies or due to some mechanical trouble. Rhosus was detained after PSC inspection, which found a number of deficiencies. Since then vessel is stranded in Beirut. By now only four crew stay on board – Master (Russian nationality), Chief and Third Engineers and Bosun, all of them Ukrainians. Vessel was owned and operated by Mr. Grechushkin Igor, Russian citizen now Cyprus resident (last known manager Teto Shipping, Cyprus). Rhosus actually, is abandoned – owner doesn’t communicate, doesn’t pay salaries, doesn’t provide supplies. Owner of the cargo declared abandonment, too. Beirut authorities don’t permit the remaining crew to leave the vessel and fly to home. The reason is obvious, port authorities don’t want to be left with abandoned vessel on their hands, loaded with dangerous cargo, explosives, in fact. Why don’t they want to arrest vessel with cargo, to release the crew and replace it with temporary local crew, is unclear.

Russian and Ukrainian authorities do nothing, while as it seems, their involvement is a must, in order to achieve some kind of agreement with Beirut authorities, and work out a joint plan either to replace the crew with locals unconditionally, or finance the crew and vessel until she’s auctioneed.

https://www.fleetmon.com/maritime-news/2...us-beirut/
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