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Awaiting disaster, ammonium nitrate was stored at Beirut port for years

Awaiting disaster, ammonium nitrate was stored at Beirut port for yearsFor at least six years, hundreds of tonnes of ammonium nitrate, which Lebanese authorities say caused Tuesday's massive blast, were negligently stored in a Beirut port warehouse, waiting for disaster to strike. The odourless crystalline substance commonly used as a fertiliser has caused numerous industrial explosions over the decades -- including the massive one in Beirut that killed at least 113 people, wounded thousands and left 300,000 homeless. A security source said the explosive power of the stored ammonium nitrate was equivalent to at least 1,200 tonnes of TNT -- explaining how the earthquake-strength blast destroyed or damaged so much of the city.




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