Silo Fire at Site of Former Explosion In Beirut

By Elijah Mt. Castle

There is a grain silo fire burning in the capital of Lebanon, Beirut. The age of the grain has caused it to begin fermenting, adding alcohol to the fire. The blaze started in early July and has been continuously burning. The fire is currently being allowed to smolder for fear that any fire suppression efforts would cause the silos to collapse from their previous damage. The port city of Beirut was rocked by a deadly explosion on August 4th, 2020.  It was heard in the neighboring country of Cyprus 240km (150 mi) away. The explosion was caused by the unsafe storage of ammonium nitrate. The resulting blast had a force equivalent to 1 kilotons of TNT, the same force as the first nuclear bombs. The explosion took place on the docks next to the now burning silos creating a crater that was quickly filled by the sea. 218 deaths were reported and over 7000 injuries were logged. The 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate were seized from an abandoned Moldovan cargo ship 6 years prior. There were allegations of fireworks and other explosive materials also being stored improperly at the site. The current fire does not pose any threat to any structure outside of the damaged silos themselves. Pictured are the VNF detections for July 12th and 13th 2022. The fire is burning on the inside of the concrete silos, so only a few detections were noticed during the fire. Pictured with the map is the Planck curve and auxiliary data for the July 13th detection, which had a recorded temperature of 1395K (2050 F). Due to the satellite pixel size, the detections aren’t located directly at the silo location.

July 21, 2022