Thus would begin what at first was a brief stop that was later complicated with damage to the ship with non-payment of port fees, with part of the crew retained and with the definitive abandonment of the material and the boat by the charterers and the owner.
Now it has resulted in a catastrophe that has further devastated and outraged a country that was already dragging a political, social and health crisis that has caused major riots in its streets in recent months .
The Lebanese population, jaded by the situation , demands that these facts be clarified and guilt assumed in an atmosphere of distrust towards the investigation of the catastrophe.
For now, the Lebanese justice has ordered the house arrest of those responsible for the port of Beirut without specifying the number of people involved or their identities.
But for their part, both the port chief and the customs chief have ensured that several letters were sent to the judiciary requesting that the material be removed and that no action was taken, Reuters reports.
Predictably, senior customs officials wrote to Lebanese courts between 2014 and 2017 to request information on how to dispose of the material, according to records posted on Twitter. by Lebanese MP, Salim Aoun.
To guarantee the independence of the process and safeguard impartiality, four former prime ministers Saad Hariri, Najib Miqati, Fuad Siniora and Tamman Salam have called on the international community and the Arab League to lead the ongoing investigation.
Proposal To which the organization Human Rights Watch has joined for being the best “guarantee so that the victims of the explosion receive the justice they deserve.” France has offered to collaborate in the investigations and also maintains an open line for its prosecutors to investigate the case for the 24 registered French wounded.
“After the inspection of the ship by the Port State Control, the ship was prohibited from sailing Due to the risks associated with ammonium nitrate on board the ship, the port authorities unloaded the cargo in warehouses of the port .
They were already alerted to the imminent risk they faced due to the “dangerous” nature of the cargo. The detonation of ammonium nitrate is only possible through contamination with other substancesor with an intense source of heat, as it is not explosive by itself. Therefore, its storage must follow strict isolation rules.
In July 2014, the sailor and journalist Mikhail Voytenko denounced in a specialized publicationthat four of the crew, the captain of Russian nationality, and three Ukrainians, were stranded in a “floating bomb”.
“The Beirut authorities do not allow the remaining crew to leave the boat and fly home. The reason is obvious, they do not want to keep the ship abandoned in their hands, with dangerous cargo, explosives, in fact, “he wrote.
They then managed to get off the ship and the cargo was moved to the port in what has resulted in a deadly string of errors, They do not care at all about the cargo, ”Boris Prokoshev, the former captain of the ship, told Reuters.