Disasters & Accidents

Beirut explosion death toll rises to 202

Beirut, Oct 6 (efe-epa).- Lebanese authorities on Tuesday raised the death toll from the powerful explosion that rocked Beirut in August to 202.

The number of injured stood at 6,500, while nine people, including three Lebanese, five Syrians and an Egyptian, are still missing, according to a document published by the government.

More than two months after the blast, powered nearly 3,000 tons of improperly-stored nitrate ammonium, the causes of the explosion are yet to be revealed.

Lebanese attorney general Ghassan Oueidat has referred to the judge in charge of the investigation of the explosion, Fadi Sawan, investigations carried out by Jordanian judicial authorities on the ship Roussos, which brought the ammonium nitrate, state-run NNA news agency reported on Tuesday.

The ship left Georgia in 2013 on its way to Mozambique and stopped at Jordan’s Aqaba port but diverted to Beirut, where the fertilizer was unloaded in one of its hangars.

Lebanese authorities were waiting for a response from Mozambique to clarify what happened, NNA said.

Sawan asked Interpol last week to issue two arrest warrants for the Russian owner of the ship.

A total of 20 people have been arrested in Lebanon, while political figures and security officials have been interrogated over the explosion.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun admitted a few days after the explosion that he knew before the blast that there was “a large amount” of nitrate ammonium stored in the port.

Lebanon has been struggling with one of the worst crises in its history, worsened by a political paralysis caused by the resignation of Hassan Diab as prime minister and Mostafa Adib as prime minister designate. EFE-EPA

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