Beirut Moment of Silence Marks One Year Since Deadly Blast

Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Beirut Moment of Silence Marks One Year Since Deadly Blast” – below is their description.

United in grief and anger, families of the victims and several thousand Lebanese marked one year since the horrific explosion at Beirut’s port with a moment of silence and prayers at the foot of the silos that was shredded by the blast on that fateful day.

The grim anniversary comes amid an unprecedented economic and financial meltdown, and a political stalemate that has kept the country without a functioning government for a full year.

Prayers and protests were planned for later in the day, which has been declared a national day of mourning.

The explosion killed at least 214 people, according to official records, injured and maimed thousands and devastated entire neighborhoods of the city.

It was one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history – the result of hundreds of tons of ammonium nitrate igniting after a fire broke out.

The explosion tore through the city with such force, it caused a tremor across the entire country that was heard and felt as far away as the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, more than 200 kilometers (180 miles) away.

It soon emerged in documents that the highly combustible nitrates had been haphazardly stored at a port warehouse alongside other flammable material since 2014, and that multiple high-level officials over the years knew of its presence and did nothing.

A year later, there has been no accountability, and the investigation has yet to answer questions such as who ordered the shipment of the chemicals and why officials ignored repeated internal warnings of their danger.

Several thousand people staged protests at various locations in Beirut on Wednesday, chanting slogans against the country’s political class, widely blamed for the port disaster and years of corruption and mismanagement that plunged Lebanon into bankruptcy.

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