Dangerous chemicals found by German company in oil facility in southern Lebanon

BEIRUT — Outgoing Lebanese Prime Minister and head of the caretaker government Hassan Diab announced on Friday that German company Combi Lift, contracted by the Lebanese government with clearing the Beirut port of hazardous material, has discovered “dangerous chemicals” in a warehouse at the Zahrani oil facilities in the south of the country.

Diab indicated that the Lebanese Nuclear Energy Authority had identified the materials as being “nuclear” after reviewing the Combi Lift report.

“This is a matter that needs to be discussed and dealt with urgently,” read a statement released by the Lebanese Supreme Defense Council.

On 4 August 2020, a huge explosion occurred in Beirut’s port resulting from the unsafe storage of dangerous chemicals in the port. The explosion led to the deaths of over 200 people and left thousands with injuries of varying degrees, in addition to damaging many residential buildings.

The Lebanese Oil Directorate tried to calm public fear over the discovered materials, which totaled 1.2 kg, stating they were used for research and will be safely stored.

“We assure the Lebanese … there is no reason for any fear,” the directorate said.