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Explosion in Beirut: Injured Lankans increase to 15

By Sarah Hannan

Almost a week since the explosion in the Port of Beirut in Lebanon, the number of Sri Lankans injured by the explosion had risen to 15, the Sri Lankan Embassy in Lebanon reported.

The Lebanese Government last week confirmed that the explosion was caused by 2,750 metric tonnes of ammonium nitrate that was seized in 2013.

The stock of explosive matter had been discovered in a dilapidated Russian ship which belonged to the company Rhosus.

Maritime experts revealed that the substance was listed under the banned goods of shipping under the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code.

Meanwhile, on ground, news reports informed that the Lebanese Custom officials had informed the Lebanese Government to move the seized goods out of the port storage since it was considered as hazardous material.

However, the Lebanese Government had continued to ignore all warnings and letters that were submitted.

The explosion took place in Beirut on 4 August 2020. On the day of the explosion, two Sri Lankans were reported to have sustained injuries, the Sri Lankan Embassy in Lebanon reported.

While minor damages occurred at the premises of the Sri Lanka Embassy in Lebanon, located in Beirut, and in the residences of the Embassy officials, none of the Embassy officials were injured.

Around 25,000 Sri Lankans presently reside in Lebanon and the Sri Lanka Embassy continues to maintain 24-hour hotlines which are open for queries.