The Lebanese people are demanding answers as rescue teams removed more bodies from the rubble of the port of Beirut on Friday, nearly three days after a massive explosion sent a wave of destruction to the capital.
Over 300,000 people have been displaced, nearly 150 killed and thousands injured.
The Lebanese people want to know why 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate, a chemical used for explosives and fertilizers, was in the port, with clashes overnight in front of the parliament building in Beirut, which looks like an area of war.
BEIRUT EXPLOSION: RESCUE WORKERS FRANTICALLY SEARCH FOR SURVIVORS AS LEBANON CAPITAL CONFRONDS MASSIVE DEVASTATION
“It is not known at this time what exactly caused this explosion,” Fox News Channel foreign correspondent Trey Yingst told “Fox & Friends” on Friday, noting that Pentagon officials said they did not think that it was an external incident and that it appeared to be an accident. .
“You see a lot of Lebanese officials today trying to blame others,” added Yingst, who is based in Jerusalem. “No one wants to be responsible for the tragedy that has unfolded. ”
An investigation was launched by the government, which has come under increasing criticism after many Lebanese blamed the disaster on negligence and corruption.
BEIRUT BLAST DEVASTATION SEEN IN NEW SATELLITE IMAGES
French and Russian rescue teams with dogs continued to search the port area on Friday, a day after French President Emmanuel Macron visited the site.
“People are emotionally destroyed, even though they are physically fine, they are emotionally destroyed, but coming to the areas where the explosion happened and seeing all these people helping was… it warms the heart and makes us have a little hope again, ”a woman, whose owner of the apartment died in the incident, told Fox News.
The investigation focuses on port and customs officials, with 16 employees detained and others interviewed. But many Lebanese say the responsibility extends to the country’s top leaders.
Amid a severe economic crisis, massive unemployment and the coronavirus pandemic, the capital was already in trouble before the explosion.
Macron said France, which has close ties to its former colony, will lead international efforts to provide aid but will not give “blank checks to a system that no longer has the confidence of its people” . He said France was sending a team of 22 people. investigators to help probe the explosion.
The UN human rights office calls for an independent investigation, insisting that “victims’ calls for accountability must be heeded”.
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Lebanon is facing the “triple tragedy of the socio-economic crisis, COVID-19 and the explosion of ammonium nitrate,” said Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. man, urging the Lebanese leadership to “overcome political dead ends and address the grievances of the population.” ”
Trey Yingst of Fox News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.