13:40 GMT23 September 2020
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    BEIRUT (Sputnik) – Engineering and maintenance crews of the Lebanese army have found 143 containers with explosive materials since the devastating blast in the port of Beirut in early August, the head of the army’s engineering troops, Roger Khoury, reported to President Michel Aoun on Friday.

    "A total of 143 containers with explosive substances, which have been stored in the port for over 15 years, were found," Khoury said, as quoted by Aoun’s press service.

    The commander also reported that more than four tonnes of ammonium nitrate, which was discovered at the port’s entrance in early September, was transported to a landfill and destroyed.

    At the same time, another Lebanese military official reported to Aoun that the work brigades operating at the blast site had removed 15,000 tonnes of garbage that was left after the powerful explosion.

    "[A total of] 15,000 tonnes of trash trucked out, 20,000 tonnes of warehouse goods have been sorted. A million square meters [around 10,763,910 square feet] of the port’s area, besides streets, hospitals, schools and universities, have been cleared," Youssef Haidar, a commander of the heavy work regiment, said, as cited by Aoun’s office.

    According to Haidar, repair crews managed to partially put the harbour into operation within 48 hours of the blast.

    Earlier in the day, Aoun chaired a meeting with the military leadership and officers who are responsible for restoration work in the port of Beirut.

    On August 4, nearly 3,000 tons of improperly stored ammonium nitrate detonated, killing at least 190 people and injuring thousands of others. The blast triggered a shock wave that destroyed at least half of the city, as well as the grain silos that store most of Lebanon’s wheat supplies.

    explosives, maintenance, engineering, Beirut
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