Beirut Blast Wiped Out 85% of Grain Silos
Blast left city's largest grain elevator and grain terminal severely damaged
About 85% of grain silos in Lebanon's capital city of Beirut have reportedly been destroyed after a massive explosion Tuesday that killed at least 100 people and wounded thousands more, reports Fox News.
The blast at the city's port -- which manages 60% of all imports for the country -- left Beirut's largest grain elevator severely damaged, along with a grain terminal.
According to S&P Global, the silos can hold a total of 120,000 metric tons of grain. They're made up of 48 big cells, with a capacity of 2,500 metric tons each, and 50 small cells that can hold 500 metric tons each.
The silos serve as a strategic storage for Lebanon, with about 85% of the country's cereals stored in the facility, according to trading company Mena Commodities.
However, it is believed the silos did not contain huge quantities of grain at the time of the explosion, as the country tried to meet a shortage of bread that surfaced recently due to the current financial crisis, the company told S&P Global.
Most of the 1.2 million metric tons of wheat that Lebanon imports every year comes from Russia and Ukraine, and the product usually passes through the now inoperable port, says NBC News.
According to a news report from MTV Lebanon, Lebanese interior minister Mohamed Fehmi said the explosion appeared to be caused by stored ammonium nitrate, which is generally used for fertilizers.