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Explosion in Beirut
Eintrag der "Rhosus" auf

Kann jemand mit Chemie-Kenntnissen den Inhalt bewerten?
What is ammonium nitrate and why is it dangerous?

Some of the world's deadliest industrial accidents were caused by ammonium nitrate explosions.

A massive warehouse explosion in Beirut killed at least 100 people and injured nearly 4,000. Lebanese President Michel Aoun said 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate had been stored for six years at the port without safety measures.

Below are details of ammonium nitrate and expert comment:

* Ammonium nitrate is an industrial chemical commonly used in fertilizers and as an explosive for quarrying and mining. It is an oxidiser considered relatively safe if uncontaminated and stored properly. But it is extremely dangerous if contaminated, mixed with fuel or stored unsafely.

* A large quantity of ammonium nitrate exposed to intense heat can trigger an explosion. Storing the chemical near large fuel tanks, in bulk in large quantities and in a poorly-ventilated facility could cause a massive blast. The larger the quantity, the more risk it will detonate.

"On a scale, this explosion is scaled down from a nuclear bomb rather than up from a conventional bomb," said Roland Alford, managing director of Alford Technologies, a British company that specializes in disposal of explosive ordnance. "This is probably up there among the biggest non-nuclear explosions of all time."

* Experts have noted the color of the smoke and "mushroom cloud" seen in footage of Tuesday's blast as characteristic of ammonium nitrate explosions.

"Video footage of the incident show initial white-grey smoke followed by an explosion that released a large cloud of red-brown smoke and a large white 'mushroom cloud'. These indicate that the gasses released are white ammonium nitrate fumes, toxic, red/brown nitrous oxide and water," said Stewart Walker from the school of Forensic, Environmental and Analytical Chemistry at Flinders University.

"If you make ammonium nitrate explosive, you shouldn’t get that brown plume. That tells me the oxygen balance was not correct - so it wasn’t mixed as an explosive," he said. "The Beirut blast looks like an accident, unless it was arson."


Some of the world's deadliest industrial accidents were caused by ammonium nitrate explosions:

* In 1921, an explosion of ammonium sulfate and nitrate fertilizer at the Oppau plant in Germany killed 565 people.

* In 1947, a fire detonated around 2,300 tonnes of the chemical aboard a vessel in the US port of Texas City, causing a tidal wave. At least 567 people were killed and more than 5,000 injured.

* In Toulouse, France in 2001, an explosion at an ammonium nitrate depot killed 31 and injured 2,500.

* Ammonium nitrate stored at a Texas fertilizer plant detonated in an explosion that killed 14 and injured about 200 in 2013.

* In 2015, explosions at a warehouse storing ammonium nitrate and other chemicals in the Chinese port of Tianjin killed at least 116 people.

* Andrea Sella, professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of California, Los Angeles, said of the Beirut blast: "The idea that such a quantity would have been left unattended for six years beggars belief, and was an accident waiting to happen."


Ammonium nitrate can be mixed with other substances to make a bomb. It was used in Irish Republican Army (IRA) bombings in London in the 1990s, the 1995 explosion that blew up a federal building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people, and the 2002 blasts in Bali nightclubs in which more than 200 died. Many of the homemade bombs that were used against US troops in Afghanistan contained ammonium nitrate.
Beirut explosion highlights danger of Hezbollah’s guided munitions

Hezbollah also has a special terminal at the Beirut Port where it regularly unloads weapons that are shipped to Lebanon from Iran, 'The Jerusalem Post' has learned.

In recent years Hezbollah has been acquiring precision-guided munitions which make the terrorist group’s arsenal of 150,000 missiles more dangerous. The massive explosion in Beirut that has affected hundreds of thousands of people, which injured thousands and likely killed hundreds, now reveals how dangerous precision guided weapons could be in the wrong hands. This threat was made more serious by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah’s own comments in 2016 and 2017 when he threatened to target sensitive facilities in Israel where he claimed Israel stores gas or ammonium nitrate.

Hezbollah not only has sought to upgrade its rockets with precision guidance to target Israel’s critical infrastructure, but it has placed rocket launch sites in Beirut, according to recent reports. Hezbollah also has a special terminal at the Beirut Port where is regularly unloads weapons that are shipped to Lebanon from Iran, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

The containers with the weapons are unloaded by Hezbollah operatives and do not undergo customs inspections like regular cargo. The weapons are then stored for periods of time at the port before they are distributed to Hezbollah bases and storage centers across the country. The dangerous munitions, combined with Hezbollah’s threats to use precision guided missiles against Israel may not be linked to the tragic explosion in Beirut but they reveal the danger Hezbollah poses to Israel and how dangerous Hezbollah’s munitions can be to civilian areas.
In January, Jonathan Schanzer, senior vice-president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, wrote at Commentary wrote that in recent airstrikes in Syria Israel’s “targets are precision-guided munitions.” Iran has sought to supply Hezbollah with kits for these munitions. The munitions are abbreviated as PGMs. Iran is trying to find more clandestine ways to move the kits to Lebanon. Once in Hezbollah’s hands the kits, which include circuit boards, fins for rockets and software, can be assembled to integrate with Hezbollah’s arsenal.  
The Israel Defense Forces last year revealed how the PGM project has progressed. Iran once tried to move whole missiles, with the guidance installed, via Syria. “Most of these efforts were prevented by attacks attributed to Israel.” Iran then tried to move the kits to Hezbollah and then to set up factories in Lebanon to convert rockets locally so as to not have to expose the kits and missiles in Syria on the way to Hezbollah. The IDF published photos of the alleged PMG factory sites in Lebanon in September 2019.
Uzi Rubin, founding director of Israel’s Missile Defense Organization, wrote in June at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, that the PGM threat need to be taken seriously. They can paralyze civilian and military infrastructure he notes. The weapons can win wars. “Israel should do everything in its power not only to prevent defeat by them but to use them to defeat its enemies.” Once Hezbollah has these weapons it could launch an operation “firing salvoes of precision missiles to paralyze Israel’s air bases.” Rubin notes that Israel’s air defense, such as Iron Dome and David’s Sling, “will probably be able to destroy most incoming missiles, but not all of them.”

Nasrallah has boasted of the precision of Hezbollah’s missiles. According to foreign reports in February 2019 Hezbollah had attempted to receive GPS “suitcase kits” from Iran for upgrading its missile arsenal precision. We also know that as far back as 2017 Ynet warned that Iran was using the Iran Deal to upgrade the precision of its rockets. These GPS-guided missiles were turning “dumb” rockets into precision munitions. Iran tested them against ISIS and then used them against Kurdish dissidents in 2018 and fired ballistic missiles at a US base in Iraq in January. It also sent ballistic missiles to Iraqi militias in 2018 and 2019.

According to the Alma Research Center in July Hezbollah has 28 launch sites for rockets in Beirut. The report notes that these sites include Fateh 110 missiles and that “these particular missiles are subject to Hezbollah’s missile precision project.” Launch sites are located in southern Beirut.

We need to understand the PGM threat and its links to the tragedy in Beirut as part of the same context. Hezbollah’s hijacking of Lebanon’s government helped cause the corruption, irresponsibility and non-accountability that led the government not to secure a warehouse full of dangerous ammonium nitrate. Hezbollah traffics in the same dangerous chemicals, even if it wasn’t linked to this warehouse. Hezbollah has hollowed out Lebanon to create smuggling networks, such that people are fearful to demand accountability regarding things like a warehouse full of explosive material.Hezbollah has stockpiled weapons in other places in Beirut. It is building factories to transform rockets into precision munitions. It has threatened to use those rockets against Israeli infrastructure and Nasrallah has said in speeches he could target things like gas storage in Israel to harm civilians. That Hezbollah uses other warehouses to store weapons is known and that it uses them in civilian areas is also well known. Any attempt to challenge Hezbollah has been met with assassinations and threats in Lebanon. That Lebanon can unload weapons via its own terminal at Beirut port shows how unregulated its transfer of dangerous weapons has become. Israel has warned about the PGM threat and Hezbollah’s destabilizing activities. The foreign reports and IDF report last year make clear how serious a threat these weapons and the network of corruption, state weakness and illicit storage, have become.
Der Vollständigkeit halber (und weil die Buschtrommeln Ähnliches verbreiten) zwei Artikel, die von einem Angriff Israels (mit einer taktischen Atomwaffe?) auf Beirut ausgehen. Ob es sich dabei um einen Fake/antisraelische Propaganda handelt, mag jeder für sich selbst entscheiiden (die Quelle spricht für diese Annahme):

Was ist die neue Waffe, die im Golf und in Beirut eingesetzt wird?

Eine neue Waffe wurde Anfang Juli gegen 7 iranische Schiffe im Persischen Golf [1] eingesetzt, dann am 4. August im Hafen von Beirut.

In allen acht Fällen hatte die Rauchwolke nichts mit der bei konventionellen Explosionen beobachteten zu tun, sondern bildete einen Wolkenpilz wie bei Atomexplosionen.

In Beirut erschütterte die Explosion die 200 Kilometer entfernte Erde mit einer Stärke von 3,5 auf der Richterskala, wie das Deutsche GeoForschungsZentrum (GFZ) mitteilte. Es war diese Erschütterung und nicht die Explosion der Explosion, die viele Teile der Stadt zerstörte.

Sie verursachte auch eine Riesenwelle und hob einige Autos im Hafen an, wobei sie Wasser und Fahrzeuge nicht seitlich schob, sondern als wären sie gegen das Meer und den unmittelbaren Ort der Katastrophe gedrückt worden.

Diese Angriffe kommen zu einem Zeitpunkt, zu dem das Urteil des Sondergerichtshofs der Vereinten Nationen für den Libanon am 7. August erwartet wird [2]. Sie sollte verschoben werden.

Israel zerstört Ost-Beirut mit einer neuen Waffe

von Thierry Meyssan

Der erste israelische Premierminister hat die Zerstörung eines Waffenlagers der Hisbollah in Beirut mit einer neuen Waffe angeordnet. Die wenig bekannte Waffe verursachte in der Stadt erhebliche Schäden, wobei mehr als 100 Menschen getötet, 5.000 verletzt und viele Gebäude zerstört wurden. Diesmal wird es für Benjamin Netanjahu schwierig sein, dies zu leugnen.
Voltaire-Netzwerk | Damaskus (Syrien) | 6. August 2020

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Am 27. September 2018 wies Benjamin Netanjahu vor dem Forum der Generalversammlung der Vereinten Nationen auf das Lagerhaus hin, das am 4. August 2020 als Waffenlager der Hisbollah explodieren wird.

Der erste israelische Premierminister, Benjamin Netanjahu, genehmigte einen Schlag gegen ein Waffenlager der Hisbollah mit einer neuen Waffe, die sieben Monate lang in Syrien getestet wurde. Es ist nicht bekannt, ob der zweite Premierminister, Benny Gantz, seine Zustimmung gegeben hat.

Der Angiff fand am 4. August 2020 genau an dem Ort statt, den Benjamin Netanjahu in seiner Rede vor den Vereinten Nationen am 27. September 2018 [1] genannt hatte.

Es ist nicht bekannt, welche Waffe benutzt wurde. Allerdings wird es in Syrien bereits seit Januar 2020 getestet. Es handelt sich um eine Rakete mit einer taktischen nuklearen Komponente in ihrem Sprengkopf, die einen für Atomwaffen charakteristischen Rauchpilz verursacht. Es handelt sich offensichtlich nicht um eine Atombombe im strategischen Sinne.

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Israelischer Test in Syrien.

Die Waffe wurde in Syrien in einer Ebene auf dem Land und dann im Persischen Golf auf dem Wasser gegen iranische Militärschiffe getestet. Es ist das erste Mal, dass es in einer städtischen Umgebung eingesetzt wird, in einer besonderen Umgebung, in der der Atem und die Vibrationen vom Wasser und den Bergen reflektiert werden. Weit davon entfernt, nur den Hafen von Beirut zu zerstören, hat sie etwa hundert Menschen getötet, mindestens 5.000 weitere verletzt und den östlichen Teil der Stadt weitgehend zerstört (der westliche Teil war weitgehend durch den Getreidespeicher geschützt).

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Diese Satellitenfotos zeigen die Zerstörung des Lagerhauses der Hisbollah und eines Teils des Hafens.

Israel aktivierte sofort seine Netzwerke in den internationalen Medien, um sein Verbrechen zu vertuschen und der Idee der versehentlichen Explosion eines Düngemittelvorrats Glaubwürdigkeit zu verleihen. Wie so oft werden falsche Täter genannt, und die internationale Medienmaschinerie wiederholt diese Lüge immer wieder, ohne dass es eine Untersuchung gibt. Dennoch gab es tatsächlich einen Schornstein, der mit der These einer Düngemittelexplosion unvereinbar war.

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Der in Beirut beobachtete Rauchpilz hat nichts mit dem zu tun, was durch einen konventionellen Sprengstoff verursacht worden wäre.

So wie weder Syrien noch der Iran über diese Waffe kommuniziert hatten, als sie getroffen wurden, einigten sich die libanesischen politischen Parteien sofort darauf, nichts zu sagen, um ihre Bevölkerung nicht zu demoralisieren. Es wurde eine Untersuchung eingeleitet, nicht über die Ursache der Explosion, sondern über die Verantwortung des Hafenpersonals für die Lagerung des Düngemittels, das angeblich für die Explosion verantwortlich war. Diese Lüge wandte sich jedoch bald gegen die politischen Parteien, die sie sich vorgestellt hatten.

(Video, siehe Link unten)
Auf diesem Infrarot-Video, dessen genauen Ursprung wir nicht kennen, ist deutlich eine Rakete zu sehen, die in der sechsten Sekunde das Lagerhaus trifft.

Das Tribunal der Vereinten Nationen für den Libanon, das sein Urteil im Fall der Ermordung des ehemaligen Premierministers Rafik Hariri im Jahr 2005 veröffentlichen sollte, beschloss, das Urteil um einige Tage zu verschieben. In diesem Fall maskierte die Explosion eines Pickup-Trucks den Abschuss einer Rakete mit einer neuen Waffe, so wie diesmal die Explosion von Nitrat den Abschuss einer Rakete mit einer anderen neuen Waffe maskierte.

Fünf Jahre später, fünf Jahre zu spät, enthüllte ich in einer russischen Zeitschrift die Art und Weise, in der Rafik Hariri getötet worden war [2], während die Hisbollah ein Video veröffentlichte, das die Beteiligung Israels bezeugte.

Es ist wichtig, darauf hinzuweisen, dass das Attentat von 2005 einen ehemaligen sunnitischen Ministerpräsidenten zum Ziel hatte und dass der Angriff im Jahr 2020 nicht gegen die schiitische Hisbollah, sondern gegen den libanesischen Widerstand insgesamt gerichtet war.

Diesmal führten mehrere Botschaften Umfragen durch, bei denen u.a. Getreideproben und Luftfilter aus Krankenwagen entnommen wurden, die sofort zum Einsatzort fuhren. Sie werden bereits in ihren jeweiligen Ländern geprüft.

(Aus dem Französischen übersetzt mit DeepL.)

Folgendes, im Artikel eingebettetes Video soll den Einschlag einer Rakete vor der zweiten, verheerenden Explosion dokumentieren:
“He Abandoned The Deadly Cargo”: Meet The Mysterious Businessman At Center Of The Beirut Blast Saga

Originally appeared at ZeroHedge

Thus far an official ongoing investigation by Lebanese authorities into the cause of Tuesday’s Beirut port blast, now considered the largest non-military munitions explosion in history, has dubbed it severe “negligence”.

It’s now well known that over 2,500 tons of ammonium nitrate, an ultra-combustible chemical compound utilized in fertilizers and production of explosives, was allowed to sit at the port in a warehouse going back seven years.

Specifically, President Michel Aoun identified that it was no less than 2,750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate that detonated as it was “stored unsafely” — though port officials reportedly attempted to warn the government for years that it must be moved. A number of port officials have been placed under house arrest pending the investigation.

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An undated photo of the vessel Rhosus, via The National/EPA

Customs chief Badri Daher has told international media that his agency pleaded with Lebanese courts and high officials to order the chemical removed. Daher says the request for urgent removal was made six times to the judiciary over the years, all denied.

“This did not happen,” he said. The end result after the dangerous chemical — which is the same use in the deadly 1995 Oklahoma City bombing — was stored there since 2013 (also in undiluted form), was the most destructive blast in Lebanese history, killing over 135 people and injuring more than 5,000 – not to mention an estimated three billion dollars in damage.

“Legal documents, court correspondence and statements by public officials now trying to pass the buck shed light on the operations of the port, which has been dogged by allegations of widespread bribery and controlled in large measure by the militant Hezbollah group,” The Washington Post reports.

And the almost unbelievable story of how the explosive substance got there has emerged. It’s centered on a derelict and leaking vessel leased by a Russian businessman living in Cyprus. In 2013 the man identified as Igor Grechushkin, was paid $1 million to transport the high-density ammonium nitrate to the port of Beira in Mozambique. That’s when the ship, named the Rhosus, left the Black Sea port of Batumi, in Georgia.

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UK Daily Mail and The Siberian Times has published the above photograph of Igor Grechushkin, reported to be still residing in Limassol, Cyprus with his wife. Image: Ren TV

But amid mutiny by an unpaid crew, a hole in the ship’s hull, and constant legal troubles, the ship never made it. Instead, it entered the port of Beirut where it was impounded by Lebanese authorities over severe safety issues, during which time the ammonium nitrate was transferred off, and the largely Ukrainian crew was prevented from disembarking, leading to a brief international crisis among countries as Kiev sought the safe return of its nationals.

Meanwhile, Igor Grechushkin – believed to still be living in Cyprus – reportedly simply abandoned the dangerously subpar vessel he leased, as well as its crew, never to be heard from again.

According to a damning legal briefing at the time:

Zitat:“…the vessel was abandoned by her owners after charterers and cargo concern lost interest in the cargo. The vessel quickly ran out of stores, bunker and provisions.”

The ammonium nitrate was supposed to be auctioned off, but this never happened. Apparently exasperated customs and dock officials even suggested Lebanese farmers could simply spread it across their fields for a good crop yield. But not even this simple solution was heeded, nor proposals to give it to the Lebanese Army.

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During the standoff which created a diplomatic rift between Ukraine and Lebanon: the largely Ukrainian crew was prevented from leaving the ship, even at times struggling to get food.

Via The Siberian Times: “The crew – eight Ukrainian and two Russian men – was forced to stay on board of the vessel while the owner Grechushkin declared himself bankrupt and ‘abandoned the ship’. Lebanese authorities agreed to let six out of ten sailors to leave the country, others were left stranded on the ship for almost a year.

Instead the deadly substance languished at port, and the Rhosus sank in the harbor years later. The last crew members weren’t allowed to leave the ship and return home until August 2014. Grechushkin may have paid for their return tickets at that time.

WaPo relates:

Zitat:“Owing to the risks associated with retaining the Ammonium Nitrate on board the vessel, the port authorities discharged the cargo onto the port’s warehouses,” lawyers acting on behalf of creditors wrote in 2015. “The vessel and cargo remain to date in port awaiting auctioning and/or proper disposal,” it added.

And then later, more warnings, which apparently are in writing in legal documents:

Zitat:“In view of the serious danger posed by keeping this shipment in the warehouses in an inappropriate climate,” Shafik Marei, the director of Lebanese customs, wrote in May 2016, “we repeat our request to demand the maritime agency to re-export the materials immediately.”

Astoundingly, even lawyers which had represented the effectively abandoned crew of the ship (which Ukrainian media at the time said were “hostages” of the Lebanese government) while it had been detained at port warned Lebanese government officials that the sensitive cargo was in danger “of sinking or blowing up at any moment”.

Zitat:Close view of the #BeirutExplosion
— FAHAD?? (@fabythoughts) August 5, 2020

Yet these series of warnings went unheeded for years amid a notoriously corrupt and inept Lebanese system.
Meanwhile, the fate of the man originally at the center of the saga, whose decision to simply abandon the leaky ammonium nitrate laden ship in the first place, remains somewhat of a mystery and is now largely being overlooked in international media reports. Strangely, it doesn’t even appear that Lebanese law enforcement is eager to talk to him just yet.

Cypriot media is saying Igor Grechushkin is not a Cypriot passport holder but is indeed residing in the EU country. Local authorities have indicated they are ready to bring him in for questioning, but they haven’t received a request from either Lebanese authorities or Interpol. Cypriot police spokesman Christos Andreou announced Thursday: “We have already contacted Interpol Beirut and expressed our readiness to provide them with any assistance they need, if and when our assistance is requested.”

Why hasn’t this happened? So far a few scant details have emerged via a Russia-based English language publication called The Siberian Times. It’s also included what it says is the first photograph to have emerged of Grechushkin.

Zitat:First pictures emerge of a Russian man whose ammonium nitrate cargo detonated in the port of Beirut. The 2,750 tonnes cargo of Khabarovsk-born businessman Igor Grechushkin was detained in Lebanon in 2013

— The Siberian Times (@siberian_times) August 5, 2020

The publication reports the following details:

Zitat:‘The owner of the ship Igor Grechushkin effectively abandoned the ship and the remaining crew.
‘He is not providing us with money, he completely deprived us of all means of communication.

‘He told us that he went bankrupt and while I don’t believe him, the most important thing is that he gave up on both the people and the cargo’, wrote captain Boris Prokoshev back in June 2014 in a desperate plea to international organisations, diplomats, authorities of Ukraine and the authorities of the port of Beirut to release them.

Igor Grechushkin is reported to be still residing in Cyprus with his wife.

The Daily Mail has since republished the photographs of Grechushkin and his wife, writing that the Russian businessman “currently lives in Cyprus with wife Irina – has been accused of abandoning his ship in Beirut loaded with the lethal load.”

Given that Lebanese officials are now decrying a “crime against humanity” in having stored the deadly cargo at the port in the first place, one would think Grechushkin would at least be subject of investigation along with whatever top Lebanese officials willfully ignored the ticking time bomb in their midst.
Angeblich zeigt untenstehendes Foto die mit dem Ammoniumnitrit vollgestopfte Lagerhalle (Aufnahmedatum unbekannt).

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Ammoniumnitrat, das im Hafen von Beirut explodierte, war für eine Sprengstofffabrik in Mosambik bestimmt

 Die 2.750 Tonnen Ammoniumnitrat, die im Hafen der libanesischen Hauptstadt Beirut explodierten, wurden für ein industrielles Sprengstoffunternehmen von Georgien nach Mosambik transportiert. Dies ergibt sich aus dem Frachtbrief für die Fracht , dessen Kopie Mediazona vom Kapitän des Rhosus- Schiffes, das 2013 von den libanesischen Behörden Boris Prokoshev festgenommen wurde, zur Verfügung gestellt wurde.

In dem am 23. September 2013 in Batumi, Georgien, vom damaligen Kapitän von Rhosus Vyacheslav Abakumov unterzeichneten Dokument wird die Aktiengesellschaft Rustavi Azot als Lieferant angegeben, und die internationale Bank von Mosambik ist der Empfänger. Gleichzeitig wird im Abschnitt "Benachrichtigung über Ankunft" zusammen mit der Adresse das Unternehmen Fabrica de Explosivos angegeben. Dies ist eine gängige Praxis, um die Partei anzugeben, die an der Zollabfertigung beteiligt ist und die Fracht dann entsorgt.

Dieses Unternehmen gibt auf seiner Website an, dass es sich mit der Herstellung und Verwendung von kommerziellen Sprengstoffen befasst - einschließlich ASDT , bestehend aus körnigem Ammoniumnitrat und einem Kohlenwasserstoffbrennstoff. Neben Mosambik ist das Unternehmen in Sambia, der Demokratischen Republik Kongo und Malawi tätig.

"Versuche, die Explosion im Hafen von Beirut mit Georgien zu verbinden, sind unbegründet", kommentierte die georgische Seeverkehrsagentur die Botschaften über das Schicksal der Salpeterfracht. "Ammoniumnitrat ist seit vielen Jahren eines der Exportprodukte Georgiens und tritt jährlich in großen Mengen auf den internationalen Märkten ein. Frachttransport-, Entwicklungs- und Lagertechnologien liegen jedoch in der Zuständigkeit des Empfangsstaats und nicht des Exportstaats."

Nach einem Artikel auf Bellingcat handelt es sich bei dem Foto weiter oben tatsächlich um die Lagerhalle im Beiruter Hafen. Folgend ein Auszug aus dem Artikel vom 4. August, der ansonsten hier bereits Erwähntes beinhaltet.



A photo posted by several accounts claimed to show this shipment in a warehouse at Beirut’s port, apparently stored in large sacks piled on top of each other. The image shows large sacks labelled “NITROPRILL”. NITROPRIL (with one L) is the trade name of a form of Ammonium Nitrate produced by Orica. Due to the slight difference in the spelling of the name, it is possible that the sacks seen in the photo are a knock off version. The only reference we could find to a product spelled this way was a Brazilian company called Nitro Prill Bombeamento de Explosivos.

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It was possible to match features from this photo to features of the warehouses at the docks. The design of the windows, the skylights and the doors markings of the warehouse appear to match those of warehouses at the port of Beirut, indicating that this photo was likely taken there, although it was not possible to confirm exactly which warehouse this photo depicts.

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Left: image claimed to show Ammonium Nitrate shipment at port of Beirut. Right: satellite image (courtesy of Google/Maxar Technologies) and still from video of fire.

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Left: image claimed to show Ammonium Nitrate shipment at port of Beirut. Right: still from video of fire.

October 2015

Issued by the industry network devotedto ship arrests,


m/v Rhosus - Arrest and Personal Freedom of the Crew

On 23/9/2013, m/v Rhosus, flying the Moldovian flag, sailed from Batumi Port, Georgia heading to Biera in Mozambique carrying 2,750 tons of Ammonium Nitrate in bulk.

En route, the vessel faced technical problems forcing the Master to enter Beirut Port. Upon inspection of the vessel by Port State Control, the vessel was forbidden from sailing. Most crew except the Master and four crew members were repatriated and shortly afterwards the vessel was abandoned by her owners after charterers and cargo concern lost interest in the cargo. The vessel quickly ran out of stores, bunker and provisions.

Various creditors came forward with claims against her. Our firm acting on instruction of these creditors obtained three arrest orders against the vessel. Efforts to get in touch with the owners, charterers and cargo owners to obtain payment failed.In the meantime, the Master and crew remaining on board were in jeopardy due to the shortage of stores and provisions. To make things worse, the crew were restrained on board the vessel owing to immigration restrictions. Diplomatic efforts were attempted to have the crew repatriated but without success. The crew subsequently approached us for assistance. Acting on compassionate grounds, we applied to the Judge “Of Urgent Matters” in Beirut for an order authorizing the crew to disembark and return home. Our application was based on the breach of the right to personal freedom which is protected under the Constitution of Lebanon and the International Convention of Human Rights and Personal Freedoms. Emphasis was placed on the imminent danger the crew was facing given the “dangerous” nature of the cargo still stored in ship’s holds.

The port authorities and the vessel’s agents were invited by the Judge to comment on our application. Our application eventually succeeded and the Judge ordered that necessary permits be issued for the crew to disembark and return home. The decision rendered by the Judge is considered of landmark importance because as it has established the principles that personal freedoms ought to be protected regardless of any administrative considerations and that the Judge “Of Urgent Matters” can intervene to ensure protection of these rights.

Owing to the risks associated with retaining the Ammonium Nitrate on board the vessel, the port authorities discharged the cargo onto the port’s warehouses. The vessel and cargo remain to date in port awaiting auctioning and/or proper disposal.

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