On August 15th, 2021, an explosion happened in Tleil, Lebanon’s northern region of Akkar. Now, one year later, relatives of victims called for reinvestigation in the crime that killed 31 people and injured over 100 more.
The explosion occurred when Lebanese Army members seized a tank containing illegally stored gasoline during last year’s fuel crisis. The soldiers decided to hand out the seized gasoline to residents when the explosion occurred.
The cause of the explosion was not immediately clear.
“There was a rush of people, and arguments between some of them led to gunfire which hit the tank of gasoline and so it exploded,” a security source said.
Other eyewitnesses reported that it was the ignition of a lighter that caused the explosion.
An indictment was issued on July 25th, 2022, charging Richard and Georges Ibrahim with voluntary manslaughter after it was revealed that Richard gave George a lighter and prompted him to ignite it.
George Ibrahim along with Ali al-Faraj was charged with involuntary manslaughter for storing the fuel while 6 others were charged with monopoly, money laundering, and price manipulation.
Relatives of the victims now call for a reinvestigation, as the indictment didn’t include the fuel-smuggling mafias or the army officers who, according to them, mismanaged the site and the gasoline distribution.
On March 29, 2022, the Lebanese Parliament approved a law to give compensation to the families of the victims and gave those injured rights to benefit from the health services and rights as people with special needs. This excluded the non-Lebanese injured.
Related: BREAKING: Explosion in Akkar, Lebanon Leaves Dozens Dead & Injured