LEBANON’S Prime Minister Hassam Diab is among 34 officials facing charges of criminal negligence in connection to the fatal explosion that tore Beirut Port apart in August.
Hassam Diab joins three former Ministers and around 30 port and customs officials in charges filed by a Lebanon prosecutor’s probe into the catastrophic explosion that demolished parts of the capital.
The blast killed 200 people, wounded thousands, and caused widespread damage to Beirut’s buildings in a country already in the midst of financial chaos. Investigators say the blast was caused by welders accidentally igniting 2750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, a highly explosive substance.
Beirut Port authorities had been warned about the substance multiple times during its years in a warehouse, with experts reportedly previously telling officials that the stockpile was a time bomb waiting to detonate.
Lebanon’s powerful elite allegedly took vast cuts from profits made by Beirut Port, leading to accusations of negligence. The office of PM Hassan Diab said that his ”conscience was clear”, and that ”he has handled the Beirut Port blast file in a responsible and transparent manner”.
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