The Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States has found the August 4 Beirut Port explosion was caused by only 500 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, rather than the previously believed 2,750 tonnes.
This was announced Tuesday by Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab who was recently charged over the Beirut blast, which killed 200 and left thousands injured and homeless.
Speaking to reporters, Diab said, “The FBI report revealed that the amount that exploded is only 500 tonnes.” He wondered, “Where did the (other) 2,200 tonnes go?”
An investigative report published by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) found that, in 2015, an inspection revealed that around 1,900 bags of the 1-tonne ammonium nitrate bags were ripped and spilling the chemical.
The OCCRP reported that, according to three European intelligence sources, it was likely the amount that devastated Beirut was merely a fraction of the 2,750 tonnes.
They believe the size of the explosion was more likely the result of 700 to 1,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, otherwise, it would have been more deadly.