Beirut explosion: Angry residents demand answers after blast

People in Beirut have expressed anger at the government over what they say was negligence that led to Tuesday’s huge explosion.

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

Many have accused the authorities of corruption, neglect and mismanagement. The Tuesday blast killed at least 137 people and injured about 4,000 others, while dozens are still missing. A two-week state of emergency has begun in the city.

“Beirut is crying, Beirut is screaming, people are hysterical and people are tired,” said filmmaker Jude Chehab, calling for the people responsible to face justice.

“I’ve known all the time that we are led by incompetent people, incompetent government […] But I tell you something – what they have done now is absolutely criminal,” said Chadia Elmeouchi Noun, a Beirut resident currently in hospital.

On Wednesday, the government said that a number of Beirut port officials were placed under house arrest pending an investigation into the explosion.

Lebanon’s Supreme Defence Council insisted that those found responsible would face the “maximum punishment”.

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