Shocking images have emerged which appear to show hundreds of sacks of ammonium nitrate stacked high in a Beirut warehouse just days before the killer blast which left at least 153 dead.
Lebanese TV journalist Dima Sadek posted the grainy photos on Twitter as anger continues to rage in Lebanon over a tragedy now being blamed on government negligence.
Alongside the worrying images, she wrote – This is how the death bags were stacked.
The photos were taken days before the incident when the State Security Agency reported the presence of ammonium nitrate in Ward 12.
The startling photos, which match earlier images from the warehouse, seem to show the storage facility rammed with bags of the highly-explosive chemical which is used by terrorists to make homemade bombs.
It’s been reported Tuesday’s blast was sparked when a reckless welder caused a fire which then quickly spread to a warehouse called Ward 12.
Lebanon’s leaders have vowed those responsible will pay the price after the nuclear-like blast left 5,000 injured, 300,000 homeless, and half the city’s buildings damaged.
However, it has been reported the government were aware that 2,750 tonnes of the chemical were being stored at the city’s port and were seen as a ticking timebomb.
One source close to a port employee said a team that inspected the ammonium nitrate six months ago warned that if it was not moved it would blow up all of Beirut.
Port officials have also pointed the finger at the state as they claimed to have repeatedly warned the authorities about the dangerous cargo seized from a ship owned by a Russian businessman six years ago.
Sources close to the investigation into the explosion have blamed the incident on inaction and negligence, saying – nothing was done by committees and judges involved in removing the explosives.
The cabinet ordered port officials involved in storing or guarding the material since 2014 to be put under house arrest.
Public Works Minister Michel Najjar claimed he had only found out about the presence of the explosive material stashed at the port 11 days before the explosion.