When the former sea captain Boris Prokosjev received an email about Rhosus, the ship he had brought to Lebanon in 2013, he thought it was about the salary he never received for the job. Instead, a journalist told him that there were many indications that it was the ammonium nitrate on board that had exploded in Beirut on Tuesday.
- I did not understand anything, says Boris Prokosjev to the news agency AP.
Rhosus would take 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate from Georgia to Mozambique, where the company Fábrica de Explosivos de Moçambique would receive it. Mozambique imports ammonium nitrate for fertilizers and work in open pits.Fixed for almost a year
Rhosus' Russian owner bought the boat in 2012 and received a million dollars for the transport, but he was in debt and hoped to earn extra money in Lebanon. Boris Prokosjev joined the crew in 2013.
In Beirut, Rhosus was to receive heavy equipment, but the load turned out to be too heavy and the crew refused to take it on board. The ship was seized by Lebanese authorities for missing port dues and remained.
The crew also remained on board - for almost a year. They were not allowed to leave the ship due to migration laws. According to Prokoshev, the owner never paid either the crew's wages or the port dues.Too dangerous for the crew
In 2014, they finally had to leave Rhosus and Lebanon, after lawyers argued that the cargo was dangerous and put the crew in mortal danger. When the crew left, the load was moved to one of the warehouses, where it exploded on Tuesday and killed almost 150 people.
- It is very terrible that people died, they had nothing to do with it. And I understood that the Lebanese government has caused this situation.