As outraged protesters gathered in central Beirut on Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron assured that foreign aid dollars would not fall into corrupt hands on the second day since a massive explosion devastated the Lebanese capital, leaving so far at least 157 dead and 5,000 injured.
Pediatrician Rawane Dagher Tawileh and her husband Philippe Tawileh had been considering leaving Lebanon to come to Canada for months before a massive explosion ripped through the port of nearby Beirut, and now say they want out.
According to the Lebanese authorities, the blast was caused by improper storage of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, which is equivalent to 1,800 tonnes of TNT. The Halifax Explosion in 1917 involved 2,653 tonnes of various explosives while the Hiroshima bomb was equivalent to 13,000 tonnes of TNT.
More than 4,000 people were severely injured and at least 100 fatalities in the chemical blast in Beirut, Lebanon. The blast’s genesis was initially a big question, but investigators have narrowed it down to a common fertilizer which is also an ingredient for making bombs - Ammonium nitrate.
Officials meeting at Lebanon's Supreme Defence Council on Wednesday said that the stockpile of the chemical - which was seized from an abandoned ship and stored at the Beirut airport for over six years - was behind the devastating explosion.