Port director primarily responsible for disaster: Lebanese minister

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Lebanese Interior Minister Mohammed Fahmi seen with KSrelief officials while receiving the third planeload of aid from Saudi Arabia.
Lebanese Interior Minister Mohammed Fahmi seen with KSrelief officials while receiving the third planeload of aid from Saudi Arabia.

Okaz/Saudi Gazette

BEIRUT —
Lebanese Interior Minister Mohammed Fahmi has revealed that preliminary estimates indicate the involvement of at least three senior officials in the Beirut Port explosion disaster.

While the minister did not announce the identity of the three, he disclosed in statements to Okaz that the director of Beirut Port is the main official and the first among those accused of causing the explosion last Tuesday.

The explosion claimed the lives of over 150 people and injured 5,000 others, as Fahmi revealed that the results of the official investigation have not been issued yet.

Fahmi confirmed that the progress of the investigations indicates that there is a clear case of negligence, and that the moral responsibility rests with the director, the president and the in-charge.

He added that there are three personnel among the officials, who are among the people who may have caused the disaster.

He further said that there is a big list of names that the judiciary has in its hands, and investigations are still under way with these people to determine who is directly responsible for the tragic incident.

He added that investigations need time, while initial information indicates that the judiciary has identified a list of the names involved in this case, and has begun an investigation.

The Lebanese Minister of Interior stressed that "negligence and indifference" are the key factors that could have triggered this disaster, denying media reports that the warehouse No. 12 in the port belongs to Hezbollah.

Fahmi added, “Nor is the warehouse under the control and supervision of Hezbollah members in any way, explaining that none but the Lebanese state owns these warehouses located in the port. What happened was a kind of shortcoming, indifference and lack of commitment to responsibility.”

As to the demands within Lebanon and abroad for an international investigation into the disaster, Fahmi said: “If there is a need for that, let it be, but I, in my personal capacity, do not think that we need international experts, as we have experts in this field, both in the security services in the army and the internal security forces. We have professionals in this field.”

He revealed that the official authorities have not received any request to conduct investigations from external parties, and that the issue of demands for an international investigation into the disaster is merely media reports “and we have not received any request from any party on this matter”.


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