The Lebanese government placed several port officials under house arrest on Wednesday because of the explosion in the port of Beirut. This concerns persons who were involved in the storage and security of the ammonium nitrate in a harbor shed.
It is not clear how many people have been placed under house arrest. They remain supervised until it is clear who is responsible for the disaster.
President Michel Aoun said on Wednesday morning that the person responsible for the “unsafe location” will receive the “most severe punishment” for failing to take steps to ensure the safety of civilians.
The ammonium nitrate has been stored in the port since 2014. The customs director says that multiple requests have been made in the past to move or remove the ammonium nitrate. These would have been repeatedly ignored by the judge.
State of emergency in Beirut for the next two weeks
Because of the disaster, the state of emergency will be in Beirut in the next two weeks, the government has decided. This means that the military is temporarily concerned with security in the capital.
According to the authorities, at least 135 people were killed in the explosion. About five thousand injured were also killed. Dozens of people are still missing.