The powerful warehouse explosion in Lebanese Capital Bierut that rocked the city killed at least 100 people and the death toll is feared to spike.
Upon initial investigation, the local authorities blamed Ammonium nitrate, the chemical compound, as the cause of the Beirut blast.
Ammonium nitrate is an odorless crystalline substance that has been the cause of numerous industrial explosions over the decades.
When combined with fuel oils, ammonium nitrate creates a potent explosive widely used by the construction industry, but also by terrorist groups for improvised explosives.
It was also a component in the bomb behind the 1995 Oklahoma City attack.
In agriculture, ammonium nitrate fertilizer is applied in granule form and quickly dissolves under moisture, allowing nitrogen – which is key to plant growth – to be released into the soil.
Moreover, Lebanon’s prime minister said 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate exploded in the port.
Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab has called on brotherly and friendly countries to help his country. Those responsible for Beirut’s catastrophe’ must be held to account, he added.
— shasi (@shasi987) August 5, 2020