CRISIS – Lebanon is in the grip of a serious political and economic crisis. In Akkar, in the north of the country, a gas tank confiscated by the army exploded after clashes between residents who had gathered to obtain fuel. A new report from the Ministry of Health, this Sunday morning, reported 28 dead.
The drafting of LCI with AFP –
The toll grows heavier. This Sunday morning, the Lebanese Ministry of Health reported at least 28 dead and nearly 80 injured after the explosion of a gasoline tank overnight from Saturday to Sunday. It took place as residents desperately tried to stock up on fuel, in short supply in a country in the throes of collapse.
The explosion, which awakens the terrible memory of that of the port of Beirut on August 4, 2020 (more than 200 dead), occurred in the Akkar region, in the far north of the country, according to La Croix- Lebanese red and the media.
It comes as the Lebanese army deployed to gas stations on Saturday, in the face of increasingly acute fuel shortages, in a country mired in one of the world’s worst economic crises since 1850, according to the Bank. global.
“Our teams evacuated 20 corpses (…) from the site of the explosion (…) to hospitals in the region “, the Red Cross said on Twitter, adding that 79 people were also injured.
The National News Agency (ANI) said that a tank confiscated by the army exploded after clashes between residents who had gathered to obtain gasoline. The army was not present at the scene, she added.
A “massacre”, according to Saad Hariri
The images circulating on social networks show scenes of horror. At least seven bodies and dozens of burned people have been transferred to a hospital in Akkar, employee Yassine Metlej said.
Corn “the corpses are so charred that we cannot identify them “, he told AFP. “Some no longer have a face, others no longer have an arm “. The hospital had to refuse most of the injured because it is not equipped to treat severe burns, he added. Some victims were taken 25 km away to Al-Salam hospital in Tripoli, the only one in the region equipped to care for people with severe burns.
Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri compared the explosion to the one that ravaged the port of Beirut a year ago, killing more than 200 people and destroying entire swathes of the capital. “The Akkar massacre is no different from the port massacre”, he wrote on Twitter. “If this country respected its people, its leaders would resign, from the president to the very last person responsible for this negligence”, he added.
President Michel Aoun called on justice to open an investigation into the circumstances that led to the explosion – that of the port of Beirut has produced no results to date – while the interim Minister of Health, Hamad Hassan , ordered all hospitals in the country “to welcome the wounded of this painful tragedy at the expense of the ministry”.
Lebanon has been in the throes of an economic collapse since the end of 2019, and is experiencing all kinds of shortages, especially in fuel, which affect the supply of basic goods. It is coupled with an endless political crisis: the outgoing government resigned the day after the explosion of the port of Beirut in August 2020 and the various political forces have shown themselves unable to form a new one, despite the international pressures.
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