"How a Massive Bomb Came Together in Beirut’s Port"

"Fifteen tons of fireworks. Jugs of kerosene and acid. Thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate. A system of corruption and bribes let the perfect bomb sit for years."

"Late last year, a new security officer at the port of Beirut stumbled upon a broken door and a hole in the wall of a storage hangar. He peered inside and made a frightening discovery.

Thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate, a compound used in explosives, was spilling from torn bags.

In the same hangar were jugs of oil, kerosene and hydrochloric acid; five miles of fuse on wooden spools; and 15 tons of fireworks — in short, every ingredient needed to construct a bomb that could devastate a city.

About 100,000 people lived within a mile of the warehouse, which had jury-rigged electricity and not so much as a smoke alarm or sprinkler."

Ben Hubbard, Maria Abi-Habib, Mona El-Naggar, Allison McCann, Anjali Singhvi, James Glanz, and Jeremy White report for the New York Times September 9, 2020.


"The Worst Industrial Disaster in U.S. History" (Mental Floss: 5/7/2016)

Source: NYTimes, 09/10/2020