Beirut Port Officials Will Be Placed Under House Arrest After Explosion

AP/Hussein Malla | AFP

The Lebanese government has decided to place all Beirut Port officials and those found responsible for the ammonium nitrate case under house arrest in the aftermath of the explosion that took place Tuesday.

In the session, the Cabinet made the decision to prevent those officials from traveling outside Lebanon, and from working, until official investigations uncover those responsible for the devastating explosion.

The arrest might involve former and current ministers, according to Minister of Social Affairs Ramzi Moucharafieh.

Ultimately, it will be up to the Lebanese Army to determine which officials will be targeted by the decision.

Generally, “anyone who managed the ammonium nitrate storage, whoever they are, from June 2014 until the date of the explosion” will be placed under house arrest, Minister of Information Manal Abdel Samad declared.

The arrest will be active for 5 days until investigation results come out.

In the meantime, the Lebanese Army has been given full power in Beirut throughout the 2-week state of emergency declared by the Higher Defense Council on Tuesday and adopted by the Cabinet Wednesday.

Notably, local media reported that Health Minister Hamad Hasan objected to the Army expelling his Ministry’s crew from the airport.

The Army reportedly acted on the grounds the crew lacked the authorization to receive medical supplies arriving from abroad.

On Wednesday afternoon, Minister Hasan announced that the death toll of the explosion rose to 113, with around 4,000 reported injuries and tens of missing individuals.

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