Lebanese and French soldiers removed a huge amount of cement and steel equivalent to the weight of the Eiffel Tower during just 4 days of work in the Beirut port, according to a French military official.
The work has recently focused on removing rubble from the most affected parts of the Beirut port, which has mostly turned into something like a huge junkyard after the explosion that occurred on the fourth of this month, which killed more than 180 people and injured more than 6,500 others.
"It took 4 days to remove 8,000 tons of cement and steel," said French Lieutenant Pollan, who coordinates the cleaning operations at the port.
Pollan added - from the civil engineering unit in the French army, which arrived a few days ago at the port of Beirut - that this amount "is equal to the weight of the Eiffel Tower."
About 10 days after the explosion, the "Tonner" helicopter carrier of the French Navy arrived at Beirut port, carrying an engineering group of 350 ground forces and a detachment of divers, to verify that there were no debris that would make it difficult to reach the port.
And the massive explosion in Beirut Port created a hole 43 meters deep, covered by sea water, and devastation settled in several neighborhoods nearby. Almost no building or house was spared from damage, whether it was from collapsing a roof or wall or shattering windows and doors, and many buildings became uninhabitable, and arrived Damage to the suburbs and to areas relatively far from the scene of the explosion.
Colonel Yusef Haidar of the Lebanese Army said that the port - which was considered the main gateway for import in a small country that secured most of its needs from abroad - is now operating at about half its capacity.
Haidar explained - during a press conference in the port - that "a week ago the port was operating at 30% (of its capacity), today it is operating at about 45%."
More than 3 weeks after the explosion, the port is still a yard full of crushed cars, damaged containers and destroyed warehouses.
French and Lebanese soldiers are working to collect and sort the scattered goods, so that merchants and insurance companies can, in the coming days, estimate losses.
The explosion resulted - according to the authorities - as a result of a fire in a warehouse where 2750 tons of ammonium nitrate were stored years ago, and this explosion is the largest in the history of Lebanon, which has witnessed decades of unrest, wars, bombings and crises.