Port explosion in Lebanon last year compounded an ongoing economic crisis made worse by the COVID pandemic.
On August 4, 2020, one of the world’s biggest-ever, non-nuclear explosions destroyed much of Beirut’s port and devastated swaths of the capital.
The blast was caused by a fire in a warehouse which Lebanese authorities admit held a vast stockpile of ammonium nitrate for six years.
The huge explosion left more than 200 dead, and more than 6,500 injured. Some 300,000 homes were damaged or destroyed.
The tragedy hit Lebanon as the country was mired in its worst economic crisis in decades, with its currency plummeting, massive layoffs and drastic banking restrictions.
A year later, critics have said the political leadership has succeeded in stonewalling the judicial investigation that was launched to uncover what happened in the explosion and who was responsible.
President Michel Aoun said no one will have political cover if they are found negligent or guilty but has not addressed accusations that officials are obstructing the investigation.