Lebanese and international investigators have yet to identify the owner of the 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate which sat languishing in Beirut’s port for seven years before it detonated amid an accidental warehouse fire on Aug.4, killing over 200 people and injuring more than 6,000.
It was estimated to be worth $700,000 by 2013 prices, but no one ever came forward to claim it. It’s still a mystery even after Cypriot authorities at the request of Interpol late last week finally interviewed the man who originally abandoned Rhosus, a Russian businessman named Igor Grechushkin, during the ship’s ill-fated intended trip to deliver the substance to an explosives maker in Mozambique.
Reuters along with others have been investigating the ship, which sank while moored of Beirut in 2018, and the mystery of just who owned its volatile cargo: “Among the still-unanswered questions: who paid for the ammonium nitrate and did they ever seek to reclaim the cargo when the Rhosus was impounded? And if not, why not?”
Harrowing footage of the explosion in Beirut captured the instant devastation caused by the shockwave.
The video begins during a peaceful bridal shoot moments before the blast is heard and a shockwave shatters windows and disorients people caught in its path.
Up to 300,000 people in Beirut have been left without a home after the deadly explosion that ripped through a large part of the Lebanese capital on Tuesday, the governor of the city said.
The powerful eruption devastated entire neighborhoods and affected roughly half of the city, Governor Marwan Abboud told local and international media.
With numerous buildings damaged by the blast wave, between 200,000 and 300,000 people in Beirut have been left without a home and will need food, water and shelter. Preliminary estimates place the damage anywhere between $3 billion and $5 billion and “maybe more,” Abboud added.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned of Hezbollah missile sites in downtown Beirut in a warehouse that happens to be near or the exact location of Tuesday’s devastating explosion, according to resurfaced footage of a 2018 UN speech.
Netanyahu stressed that Hezbollah was using the locals as “human shields” given the sites’ locations in the densely populated city.
“Here’s a picture worth a thousand missiles,” said Netanyahu. “Here’s the first missile site, it’s in the Uzai neighborhood on the water’s edge.”
“Hezbollah is deliberately using the innocent people of Beirut as human shields.”
Just yesterday, President Trump said the incident looked like an attack, based on counsel he had with his generals.
Dozens of videos out of the Port of Beirut in Lebanon flooded social media Tuesday showing a massive explosion engulf a large part of the city.
Footage from numerous vantage points throughout Beirut show a billowing column of smoke rising out of a warehouse near Port 12 from a smaller explosion when a sudden more powerful explosion vaporizes several buildings accompanied by a forceful shock wave.
Witnesses from as far as the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, 143 miles off the coast of Beirut, also saw and felt the explosion, ABC reported.
A neighborhood in Helsingborg, Sweden, was the scene of an “incredibly powerful” explosion on Tuesday night, according to police.
While there were no injuries, an apartment building suffered “extensive damage” in the blast, which reportedly occurred at approximately 2:10 am.
Local residents began calling police to report the detonation after being startled awake, and the bomb squad arrived shortly after.
“There were quite a few windows, even upstairs, that were gone. The entire entrance was gone,” Lars Anderberg, an internal officer with the Emergency Services Skåne Northwest, told Expressen.
A very powerful explosion damaged some 250 apartments and injured roughly 20 people in Linköping, Sweden, in what police believe may have been an intentional bombing, according to local media.
The massive blast blew out windows and balconies in a five story apartment building and nearby residences as the shockwave traveled down the street, creating a chaotic scene that has been compared to the aftermath of a ‘meteorite strike’ and a ‘war zone’ by Swedish press.
Local hospitals were alerted to prepare for a “disaster situation” and some 20 ambulances were deployed to the scene, along with emergency response personnel, police, and the bomb squad.
Witnesses have said that cars and their own bodies were lifted off the ground by the force of the blast.
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Two people in the Swedish city of Malmö have been arrested following a large explosion at a restaurant late on Friday, according to local media.
Swedish television broadcaster SVT described a “heavy explosion,” with pictures of the aftermath showing widespread damage to the restaurant.
“It is very extensive damage so it must have been a heavy charge that exploded,” Malmö police commander Jerker Olsson said, adding that they were tipped off by an alarm system, resulting in no injuries.
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A powerful explosion was caught on camera during a major blaze which ravaged a multi-story building in the French capital’s 19th arrondissement. Authorities have yet to establish the cause of the incident.
The blaze, which erupted somewhere between the first and fifth floors of the eight-story building at the intersection of Macdonald Boulevard and Pierre Mollaret, began around 9pm local time. Witnesses heard at least one violent explosion, which was recorded and has been widely shared on social media.
Around 100 firefighters and multiple firetrucks and ambulances were immediately dispatched to the scene in an effort to contain the blaze, which, a fire department spokesman said, spread quickly and engulfed several floors.
At least six officers have been injured after a sudden explosion rocked a house in Connecticut, where police and SWAT officers were negotiating with a man who had taken his wife and family hostage.
Up to six police officers were reportedly injured in an explosion in North Haven, Connecticut, where a man took his family hostage after police responded to a domestic dispute call. The officers were rushed to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries at around 8:30 pm.
“This started late this afternoon with what was apparently a very violent domestic call,” North Haven First Selectman Michael Freda told Fox 61. The officers “were trying to coax him…out of the house and really try to calm the situation down. Then things took a turn for the worse with an explosion.”