In a terrifying incident on Monday night, a man fell into one of the manholes – or sewer holes – in Beirut. The cover of the sewer hole was reportedly stolen a while ago, according to the revolutionary group LebProtests.
With the economic crisis, there has been a noted rise in the theft of metal items made of iron and steel. Items such as cast iron manhole covers can go for around $100 in fresh dollars for at least 70 kilograms.
Not long ago, a gang even looted a cemetery for its iron doors and power transmission towers have been the target of thefts for their steel mesh corners.
It is one thing that Lebanon has reached a point where people have been stealing and selling metal things, and it is another matter that the state has not prompted an immediate solution for these life-threatening holes in the road.
The problem extends to wondering, with Lebanon’s infamous electricity cuts, whether the street lights were lit or not for the man to have walked right into the hole without noticing it.
A simple caution sign put in place by the municipality would have helped by alerting passersby of the dangerous hole in the middle of the street.
“The signs of the crisis in #Lebanon. It may sound like a joke, but it is not. In #Beirut nowadays people are even stealing manholes, where other people fall into, getting seriously injured,” tweeted Federico Saracini, a Beirut-based humanitarian aid worker.