The chemical is in fertilizer but is also used as a raw material for explosives in mining and in homemade bombs.
For example, ammonium nitrate was used in the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 and by Anders Breivik in the 2011 bombing in Oslo. There were also numerous accidents with the substance, sometimes with hundreds of deaths.
The blast turned part of the Lebanese capital into ruins on Tuesday. At least 63 people were killed and 2,700 injured. The hospitals were overwhelmed, the Red Cross asks for blood donations.
The Lebanese President ordered an emergency meeting of the country’s Security Council. The prime minister speaks of a “major catastrophe” for which the culprits will pay. He asked friendly countries to help Lebanon. France, Iran and enemy Israel, among others, have already offered this.
Read more about the destruction in Beirut:
The explosion also injured members of the international peace force Unifil. They were on a Unifil ship that was damaged. Unifil must prevent conflict between Israel and Lebanon. Employees of the Dutch and German embassies were also injured.
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