Lebanon: EU deploys 100 firefighters

The European Union «offers full support to the Lebanese people» reads the declaration of the Commissioner Lenarcic issued in the afthermath of the Beirut blasts.

«The civil protection mechanism has been activated at the request of onne & is coordinating the urgent deployment of more than 100 highly qualified firefighters, with vehicles, dogs and equipment» Lenarcic announced.

Lebanon rescue teams are searching for people who are missing after a huge explosion devastated the port area of the capital Beirut on August 4.

The double blast of killed at least 100 people and injured more than 4,000 others.
The whole city was shaken by the explosion, the broken glass produced many injured, and a toxic mushroom cloud could be seen spreading over the port area.

President Michel Aoun said the blast was caused by 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored unsafely in a warehouse.

Ammonium nitrate is used as a fertiliser in agriculture and as an explosive in construction. It is one of baisc elements used in both modern agricultrue and construction, and is produced and applied routinly, however its produciton and storage should be covered by strict safety rules.

The President scheduled an urgent cabinet meeting for Wednesday, August 5, and said a two-week state of emergency should be declared.

The country will observe an official period of mourning for three days from August 5.

«The horror of the shock will not prevent us from assuring the families of the martyrs and the wounded first, and for all the Lebanese, that we are determined to proceed with the investigations and uncover the circumstances of what happened as soon as possible, hold the officials and minors accountable and impose the harshest penalties on them. We will publicly announce the results of the investigations to be conducted by the commission of inquiry» the President Aoun said.

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