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PORT SILOS

Operations begin to remove debris from collapse of Beirut port silos' northern block

Operations begin to remove debris from collapse of Beirut port silos' northern block

A bulldozer at the foot of the silos in the port of Beirut on Aug. 29, 2022. (Credit: NNA)

BEIRUT — The Beirut fire department announced Monday the commencement of operations to remove the debris resulting from the collapse of the Beirut port silos’ northern block, the state-run National News Agency reported.

The weekslong process to treat the silos was announced Thursday by caretaker Environment Minister Nasser Yassin in a tweet. The first phase of efforts to treat the rubble and charred debris at the Beirut port silos concluded Sunday, as part of a plan developed by the Karantina Fire Brigade.

According to the NNA, the second step which involves removing the rubble is being carried out in cooperation between the Beirut fire department and a subcontracting company that sent a bulldozer to the site.

Mohammad Abiad, Yassin’s senior advisor, explained to L'Orient-Le Jour that this step will consist of treating the rubble by crushing it and then moving it, “an operation that will be entrusted to a specialized contractor, carried out in collaboration with the World Bank and UN Habitat.”

Abiad added that the rubble will be stored near the site, pending a decision on its future use, noting that it can be used to fill in the crater next to the silos that was caused by the explosion, but he added “an environmental impact assessment is needed for that.”

Abiad also said that following the rubble removal, the next step will involve clearing the grains that remain in and around the structure. “We could also consider treating them in a useful and ecological way, such as composting them,” he pointed out.

Abiad had said in a televised interview that the Environment Ministry still needs to quantify the amount of grain remaining to assess the full scope of the removal, noting that the entire process would take weeks to complete.

On Tuesday morning, what remained of the silos’ north section collapsed after it had been on fire since the beginning of July. A section of the northern silos collapsed on July 31, followed by a second collapse on Aug. 4, the two-year anniversary of the Beirut blast.

Following the north section’s final collapse and stability of the southern section, Prime Minister Najib Mikati indicated that a demolition decree approved by the cabinet in March would be revoked and the southern part of the port silos would be preserved.


BEIRUT — The Beirut fire department announced Monday the commencement of operations to remove the debris resulting from the collapse of the Beirut port silos’ northern block, the state-run National News Agency reported.The weekslong process to treat the silos was announced Thursday by caretaker Environment Minister Nasser Yassin in a tweet. The first phase of efforts to treat the rubble and...