The Lebanese President, Michel Aoun, has pointed to three possible hypotheses that are being investigated about the causes of the explosion that devastated Beirut on Tuesday and has caused, according to the latest balance, at least 154 deaths - 120 of them in a critical situation-, dozens of disappeared and more than 5,000 wounded . Among them, it opens the possibility that it was produced by a missile or a bomb.
"The cause has not yet been determined. There is a possibility that it is due to external interference, through a missile or a bomb or any other act," President Aoun said in statements to the Lebanese media. The other causes investigated are negligence or an accident.
According to the leader, the investigation is being carried out at three levels. "First, how the explosive material entered the country and was stored; second, if the explosion was the result of negligence or an accident, and third, the possibility that it was outside interference," he said, as confirmed by the Office of the President. to the Reuters agency.
The president of the United States, Donald Trump, already pointed out in the hours after the catastrophe, that he did not rule out that it was an attack . For its part, Israel, which has had several conflicts in Lebanon, hastened to deny any involvement in what happened.
Authorities admitted on Wednesday that 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate - a highly dangerous material used to make fertilizers, but also bombs - had been stored in a port warehouse since 2014 and that this was the source of the explosion. The chemist arrived there after the shipment was seized from a Russian ship.
Scope of the explosion in the port of Beirut.
Customs General Director Badri Daher told LBCI television that in the years that have passed with this stored cargo, his office sent up to six documents to judicial authorities warning that the material was a security threat. "We asked for it to be re-exported but that did not happen," he said Wednesday. "We left the why to the experts and to those who had to decide."
The Reuters agency revealed that a team that inspected ammonium nitrate six months ago warned that if that chemical was not transferred from the port ship, "it could fly all of Beirut . " Another source noted that several committees and judges warned of the danger of the material but that "nobody did anything."
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