One Year Later: Have the Victims’ Families of the Beirut Explosion Received Justice?

August 4th is the anniversary of the devastating Beirut explosion, and here we are one year later, still picking up the pieces. The consequences of the explosion can only be described as chaotic and unjust, all resulting in the doom of Lebanon. The Beirut explosion is one of the largest explosions in history if you exclude nuclear explosions. The amount of destruction done is unmeasurable, and irreversible.

Tonnes of ammonium nitrate exploded at a warehouse in Beirut’s port, killing more than 214 people, with 6,500 injured, and only five workers survived. The explosion damaged billions of dollars in property across the capital of Lebanon; hospitals, clinics, healthcare facilities, and schools were wrecked. The ammonium nitrate was stored improperly for around six years, and the Lebanese authorities have been stalling the investigation ever since then, with no payback for the immense suffering of the people.

The survivors

When the fire started around 6 pm by Beirut port, there were 15 workers at the port on shift. When they heard and saw the fire, they weren’t paranoid as they saw firefighters arrive. Little did they know about how massive the explosion would be. One of the six survivors is Mansour, 42. He stated that he still doesn’t believe that he survived the explosion, and his surviving colleagues feel the same way.

Of the six survivors, Mansour, Nohra, Walid, and Al Hage sustained minor injuries, while Michel Abdo lost his eye in the explosion, and Hassan suffered six broken vertebrae and two broken pelvic bones. Hassan couldn’t walk for a month, and one year later, he still can’t stand on his feet for longer than 30 minutes.

Via The National News.
Via The National News.

Further losses

The family of Elias Khoury, a 15-year-old who died of injuries in the explosion still suffers. His mother, Mireille Khoury, said “the day of the 4th of August seemed like the end of the world. We thought it was just a fire…I passed out and then woke up to find my house in ruins. My daughter asked me what happened. She was injured and I was injured too. I rushed outside and found my son on the staircase injured and covered with blood…On that day, they ruined our lives.”

Relatives of those who died in the Beirut explosion stage a protest that those responsible have not been brought to justice almost a year on.
Via The Guardian.

The Lebanese authorities then initiated an investigation to make sure that justice is applied. However, the investigation has been stalled and stalled. While the families of the survivors would gather in the streets asking for justice and payback for the victims of the explosion, Lebanese officials are still slacking off.

No one truly knows the reasons behind the explosion, but the victims blame the negligence of the government and officials working at the port. In addition, the victims’ families haven’t been asked to witness, and they haven’t received an official apology.

The President of the Beirut Port Explosion Victims’ Families Association, who helps organize protests as a families’ campaign for justice, insists that the officials who ignored the dangers of such explosions being stored in the port have yet to be held accountable.

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