A large fire erupted in the heart of Beirut’s commercial district on Tuesday morning.
The fire started at the iconic department store designed by the late British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid in Beirut Souks, where civilians and firefighters gathered and attempted to extinguish the flames.
People widely shared photos and videos of the blaze on social media platforms as the hashtags “Zaha Hadid” and “Beirut” became the two top trending terms on Twitter in Lebanon.
Anger and frustration were particularly evident in many social media posts, in which people complained of too many disasters taking place successively in Beirut.
Many of the angry reactions seem to have stemmed not only from the fact that this is the third major fire to start in Beirut in less than 2 months but also, and more so, because of its reported cause.
According to preliminary information reported by MTV, the fire in Beirut Souks was caused by welding work that had been taking place in the under-construction building.
“We can’t catch a break,” a Twitter user wrote. “It’s happening for the third time and it’s not accidental,” another argued.
The humorous hashtag “welder” also went viral on Twitter. Lebanese people posted sarcastic comments about an unknown welder that they said is moving from one area to another in Beirut, starting fires.
“The welder chooses his targets and the timing of his fires accurately and professionally,” one user wrote.
Over an hour after it had started, the fire was finally controlled and extinguished by the firefighters at the scene.
A few days ago, a much more massive fire broke out at the Port of Beirut, also said to have been caused by welding work, and caused great distress among the Lebanese, especially the residents of Beirut.
This was a little over a month after the notorious blaze, which was, again, allegedly caused by welding work, caused the explosion that killed nearly 200 people and caused countless injuries and immense damage.