One-year anniversary of Beirut blast marked by grief, anger
Fluctuating between feelings of sadness, grief and anger, Beirut residents on Wednesday marked the one-year anniversary of the port explosion that killed more than 200 people and injured thousands of others.
The big picture: No senior official has been held accountable for the blast, which was caused by a large amount of ammonium nitrate stored unsafely at the port for years, per Reuters.
- The one-year anniversary of the explosion comes as the country endures ongoing economic and political instability.
Driving the news: An investigation into the blast has stalled as requests to probe senior politicians and former officials have been denied, per Reuters.
- Greek Orthodox Archbishop Elias Audi led prayers at a hospital that was damaged in the blast. He urged investigations to continue.
- "Whoever obstructs justice is a criminal, even if they are highly placed," Audi said, per Reuters.
- "We didn't forget yet, it is an hour of anger, sadness," said Khose Khilichian, a resident of the Bourj Hammoud district near the port, per Reuters.
- "My wife and I were on the balcony, and we just found ourselves in the middle of the living room. My house was all destroyed."
Between the lines: A report released by Human Rights Watch on Tuesday concluded that some government officials could have predicted the death that the ammonium nitrate’s presence in the port could cause.
- "Evidence strongly suggests that some government officials foresaw the death that the ammonium nitrate’s presence in the port could result in and tacitly accepted the risk of the deaths occurring," per the report.
- "Under domestic law, this could amount to the crime of homicide with probable intent, and/or unintentional homicide."
Go deeper: Lebanon's prime minister resigns in wake of deadly explosion