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Beirut fire – Another massive fire erupts in Beirut port just weeks after mega-blast devastated city

A MASSIVE fire has erupted in Beirut’s sea port – just a month after a gigantic explosion wreaked havoc on the city.

Footage shows a huge column of black smoke floating over the Lebanese capital.

While the source of the blast is not yet known, a military source confirmed to Reuters that a store of oil and tyres had caught fire in the port area.

The fire erupted in the duty free zone of the port, sending a huge column of smoke above the city.

Lebanon’s army said its helicopters would be used to help extinguish the blaze alongside firefighters, Reuters reports.

Television footage showed firefighters trying to douse the blaze at the port, where warehouses and concrete grain silos were shattered by the massive blast on August 4.

Michel el-Murr, the head of the fire department search and rescue team, told The Independent that around 100 firefighters were at the scene of the blaze.

He said: “We don’t own exactly what is burning, we are trying to put out the fire but it is too big, we need a mix of water and foam.

“We don’t own exactly what is burning, we are trying to put out the fire but it is too big, we need a mix of water and foam.”

The blast led some residents to drive out of the city – still traumatised by last month’s blast that killed around 190 people.

Majed Hassanein, 49, who was taking his wife and two children by car, said: “I am forced to get them out of Beirut from the smoke and the fire that is happening at the port again.”

According to Al-Jazeera, local media said that companies with offices near to the port have asked employees to leave the area, while roads have also been cleared.

Beirut Governor Marwan Abboud called on people to stay away from roads leading to the port to allow fire engines to move quickly.

Social media videos show a large plume of smoke at the location of the fire, with locals running to escape the blaze.

The head of Lebanon’s Red Cross, George Kettaneh, said there was no fear of another explosion as a result of the flames.

MTV English News reports that one person has suffered non-serious suffocation as a result of the fire.

Mr Kettaneh added that some people were also suffering from shortness of breath.

Police spokesman Colonel Joseph Msalam told the Associated Press they have no information about what is happening at the port adding that the facility is currently under control of the army.

The new fire comes just a month after the city was rocked by a devastating blast.

Last month’s gigantic explosion was triggered by the explosion of 2,700 of tonnes of ammonium nitrate which was stored unsafely in a warehouse for years.

Some 190 died in the blast, which caused devastation in the city and left 6,500 injured and buildings ruined.

The country has also been rocked by a spike in coronavirus cases, recording nearly 22,000 cases and 212 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

Health minister Hamad Hassan has said the situation is “delicate” as hospitals struggle with a shortage of medical supplies.

However, the government remains hesitant to impose a national lockdown given the country’s dire economic situation – which includes a spiralling debt crisis, deteriorating public services and unemployment at 25 percent.

Protesters took to the streets in the wake of the blast – accusing the ruling elite of negligence and incompetence.

The growing unrest forced the resignation of Prime Minister Hassan Diab last month.

Last week, rescuers were locked in a race against time to find what they believed was a “small child” hidden in the rubble of the blast.

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