The Beirut port explosion

I don’t have any theories about this myself, although there is certainly no shortage of speculation about the nature of the blast:

Survivors of a cataclysmic explosion that devastated the Lebanese capital of Beirut last night were picking through the remains of their city for victims today as the death toll topped 100 and was expected to continue rising, with more than 4,000 wounded. 

Beirut, once known as the Paris of the Middle East, resembled a huge scrapyard as the sun rose on Wednesday – with barely a building left unscathed in a blast caused by 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate that exploded with a fifth of the power of the atomic bomb that levelled Hiroshima.

Street after street, neighbourhood after neighbourhood, buildings were left without roofs or windows, their interiors shredded by the force of the explosion – believed to have been sparked when a welder caused a fire at the port, which in turn set light to a warehouse storing chemicals which had been seized from a ship six years ago. 

The one thing that does look a little strange is the fact that the chemicals were supposedly seized from a ship six years ago. That seems a long time to leave such a large quantity of dangerous material just lying around the port. On the other hand, Beirut hasn’t been a particular focus for massive violence for quite some time now.

Feel free to speculate amongst yourselves.