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The Major Explosion in Lebanon Once Again Warned The Safe Storage of Hazardous Chemicals

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The Major Explosion in Lebanon Once Again Warned The Safe Storage of Hazardous Chemicals

   According to the news network, at around 6 pm local time on August 4, a huge explosion occurred in the port area of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon. The explosion occurred twice in succession, causing damage to many houses, shattering glass and red smoke rising from the sky. According to the Lebanese Ministry of Health, the explosion has caused at least 78 deaths and more than 4,000 injuries. Abbas Ibrahim, head of the Lebanese security department, said that combustible chemicals are stored in the port warehouse. The Prime Minister of Lebanon confirmed that more than 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate had exploded. More than 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate were stored in the warehouse for six years without any preventive measures.

  If the ammonium nitrate container is damaged, the ethanol wetting agent will be completely volatilized and lost within 2 hours at 50°C. When the temperature is 35°C, the temperature inside the container can reach 65°C or more. As the temperature continues to rise, the decomposition rate of ammonium nitrate continues to accelerate, reaching its explosion temperature (experiments have shown that nitrocellulose reaches over 1000°C after half an hour of burning, which greatly exceeds the decomposition temperature of ammonium nitrate). If there are multiple containers containing ammonium nitrate, potassium nitrate, calcium nitrate, sodium methoxide, magnesium metal, calcium metal, calcium silicon, sodium sulfide and other oxidants, flammable solids and corrosive products, it will cause a second time More violent explosion.


Figure 1. The situation in Lebanon reported by Xinhua News Agency.

   The Office of the State Council Security Committee and the Emergency Management Department held a national video conference on production safety on the 5th to deploy a national special inspection and rectification of the storage safety of hazardous chemicals. The relevant person in charge of the Emergency Management Department stated that my country is a major chemical country in the world. There are a large number of ports, docks, warehouses, storage yards, and transport vehicles and ships involving hazardous chemicals, and safety risks are increasing. The major explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, once again sounded the alarm for us.

   The state will focus on ports, wharves, logistics warehouses, chemical parks, etc., and immediately launch a national special inspection and rectification of hazardous chemical storage safety. The emergency management department will supervise the relevant production and operation enterprises to implement measures such as cooling, ventilation, and keeping away from fire during storage. It is strictly forbidden to store over-amount, over-variety, and mixed storage of mutually contraindicated substances to ensure monitoring of cooling sprays and infrared thermal imaging cameras. The alarm and fire-fighting systems and other equipment are intact and effective.


Figure 2. A mess after the explosion.

   Transportation departments and customs at all levels shall organize inspections of all ports, warehouses (dumping) yards and wharves involving hazardous chemicals, penalize unqualified safety conditions, excessive storage, illegal mixed storage, etc., and order rectification within a time limit. . The departments of industry and information technology, public security, and market supervision should organize the investigation and punishment of the illegal production, storage and use of ammonium nitrate and other civil explosives in accordance with the division of responsibilities, and implement the sales and purchase license approval and flow information registration system. The eco-environmental department shall conduct in-depth safety inspections of hazardous wastes and effectively implement safety precautions.

   All regions shall carry out a quantitative risk assessment of all storage places of explosive hazardous materials such as ammonium nitrate. We must insist on starting from the source, strictly implement the joint approval and strict control requirements of hazardous chemical production and storage projects, and scientifically and rationally arrange hazardous chemical production and storage enterprises.


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