Lebanese authorities arrested 16 people on Thursday in an investigation into Tuesday’s devastating explosion.
Talks were also held with dozens of officials from the port and customs and maintenance staff who worked in the exploded warehouse.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun announced on Wednesday that an investigation committee has been established. It should come with names of those responsible for the disaster within four days, the president said.
The missing persons are searched under rubble
Relief in the affected area will start more on Thursday. The missing people are searched for under the rubble. Military personnel and members of the Lebanese Red Cross, among others, have been raided. The Netherlands has sent a rescue team with more than sixty specialists.
According to the latest known figures, at least 135 people died and thousands more were injured. Dozens of people are still missing; an exact number is not known.
A quarter of a million people are homeless
Tuesday’s explosion wreaked havoc. Several buildings have been completely destroyed. According to Beirut Governor Marwan Abboud, about a quarter of a million people have been made homeless.
The explosion took place in the port of Beirut. Since 2014, more than 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate has been stored there. The port officials involved in the storage and security of the ammonium nitrate have been placed under house arrest.
Due to the disaster, Beirut will be in a state of emergency for the next two weeks, the government decided on Wednesday. This means that the military is temporarily concerned with security in the capital.