- Title: Angry Lebanese residents gather at site of fuel tank explosion
- Date: 15th August 2021
- Summary: AKKAR, LEBANON (AUGUST 15, 2021) (REUTERS) PEOPLE GATHERING NEAR THE SITE OF A FUEL TANK EXPLOSION IN THE TOWN OF ALTALIL IN AKKAR VARIOUS OF SMOKE RISING FROM EXPLOSION SITE FROM FIRE SET TO TWO TRUCKS BY ANGRY RESIDENTS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) RESIDENT OF AKKAR, MOHAMED, SAYING: "I consider this the second Beirut explosion (referring to last year's Beirut port blast). What happened is not small, people have been incinerated, some are still missingâ€¦ God knows how many. This is a crime, this is considered a crime and every smuggler is considered a criminal, a traitor and an agent, this is my opinion." VARIOUS OF SMOKE RISING FROM TRUCKS SET ON FIRE BY ANGRY RESIDENTS FIRE AS SEEN FROM BEHIND TRUCK'S TYRES MORE OF SMOKE RISING / PEOPLE GATHERED (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) RESIDENT OF AKKAR, MOHAMED, SAYING: "What is happening in Akkar is unacceptable, especially in Akkar with the smuggling that is happening 24 hours a day in the suburbs and border area in front of everyone's eyes. People are desperate, there is no electricity, no generators, no medicine, no life. What are we waiting for? Until when will we remain this way? We are all desperate." VARIOUS OF PEOPLE GATHERING NEAR THE SITE OF THE EXPLOSION / ARMY SOLDIERS ON ROAD SIDE ARMY SOLDIERS MAKING WAY FOR CIVIL DEFENSE VEHICLE ARMY SOLDIERS STANDING NEAR ARMY VEHICLE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) RESIDENT OF AKKAR, ALI AHMAD, SAYING: "You people, pay attention to yourself. You should not use the black market. If you find someone cut off on the road, I would remove from my heart fuel and fill for him - not charge him 500,000 Lebanese pounds for fuel. It is a shame." VARIOUS OF LEBANESE ARMY SOLDIERS DEPLOYED NEAR THE SITE OF THE EXPLOSION PEOPLE GATHERING NEAR THE SITE OF THE EXPLOSION
- Embargoed: 29th August 2021 09:11
- Keywords: Akkar Blast Fule Tank Hospital Injured Lebanon Tank Explosion Tripoli Wounded
- Location: AKKAR, LEBANON / INTERNET
- City: AKKAR, LEBANON / INTERNET
- Country: Lebanon
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Middle East
- Reuters ID: LVA001EQE3QRR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:At least 22 people were killed and 79 injured when a fuel tank exploded in northern Lebanon early on Sunday (August 15), the health minister said.
Military and security sources said that the army had seized a fuel storage tank hidden by black marketeers and was in the midst of handing out gasoline to residents when the explosion took place.
Lebanon is suffering from a severe fuel shortage, leading to long lines at gas stations and extended blackouts. The disaster happened in the town of Altalil, in the Akkar region that is one of Lebanon's poorest areas.
Angry residents in Akkar gathered at the site and set fire to two dump trucks, according to a Reuters witness.
About 200 people were nearby at the time of the explosion, eyewitnesses said.
Caretaker Health Minister Hamad Hassan said the worst cases of burns probably needed quick treatment abroad to save their lives.
Army and security forces personnel were among the casualties, sources said.
Accounts varied as to what caused the explosion.
"There was a rush of people, and arguments between some of them led to gunfire which hit the tank of gasoline and so it exploded," said a security source.
Local Al-Jadeed TV channel reported from eyewitnesses that it was caused by a person who ignited a lighter.
President Michel Aoun expressed condolences, writing on Twitter that "this tragedy that befell our dear Akkar has made the hearts of all Lebanese bleed." He added that he asked the judiciary to investigate the circumstances that led to the explosion.
(Production: Walid Saleh, Yara Abi Nader)
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