Could the lure of a financial reward for officials have led to the dangerous stockpiling of highly explosive material in the heart of Beirut? Some Lebanese journalists have been asking that question following the discovery of documents relating to the seizure of the shipment.
A photo shared on social media, allegedly of the warehouse in question, shows workers in front of a warehouse packed with 1,000-kilogram bags of ammonium nitrate stamped with Nitroprill HD, which the arms control expert Jeffrey Lewis suggested may be a knockoff brand of Oricas Nitropril, a mining explosive. The upper limit for storing Nitropril safely, according to the manufacturer, is 400 metric tons.
Whether corruption, negligence, or a combustible combination of both was responsible for this disaster, we may never truly know.
The Port of Beirut was the most corrupt area in all of Lebanon.