French President Macron arrives in Lebanon to show support after blast

French President Macron arrives in Lebanon to show support after blast


By: AP | Beirut |

Updated: August 6, 2020 4:23:05 pm





France and other countries have send emergency aid and search-and-rescue teams. But Lebanon, which was already reeling from a severe economic crisis, will need substantial international support to rebuild. Michel Euler/Pool via REUTERS

French President Emmanuel Macron has arrived in Beirut to express support for Lebanon in the wake of a massive explosion that tore through the capital earlier this week.

France and other countries have send emergency aid and search-and-rescue teams. But Lebanon, which was already reeling from a severe economic crisis, will need substantial international support to rebuild.

READ | Beirut explosion: What are its possible causes

The blast killed at least 135 people, wounded thousands, and obliterated Beirut’s port.

The Lebanese army bulldozers plowed through wreckage to reopen roads around Beirut’s demolished port Thursday, a day after the government pledged to investigate this week’s devastating explosion and placed port officials under house arrest.

ALSO READ | Lebanon officials ignored warnings on chemical tied to blast

The blast Tuesday, which appeared to have been caused by an accidental fire that ignited a stockpile of ammonium nitrate at the port, rippled across the Lebanese capital, killing at least 135 people, injuring more than 5,000 and causing widespread destruction.

lebanon, lebanon explosion, lebanon blast, lebanon blast death toll, lebanon blast probe The ammonium nitrate — equivalent to 1,800 tons of TNT — was unloaded from the cargo ship Rhosus in 2014, according to two letters issued by the director general of Lebanese Customs.

It also may have accelerated the country’s coronavirus outbreak, as thousands flooded into hospitals in the wake of the blast. Hundreds of thousands have been forced to move in with relatives and friends after their homes were damaged, further raising the risks of exposure.

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