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Inferno: huge fire at Port of Beirut causes panic one month after explosion

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Blaze: A massive fire burns in the port in Beirut, Lebanon. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

Blaze: A massive fire burns in the port in Beirut, Lebanon. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

AP

Blaze: A massive fire burns in the port in Beirut, Lebanon. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

A huge fire which broke out at the Port of Beirut triggered panic among residents - a month after a massive explosion at the site in Lebanon.

It was not immediately clear what caused the fire at the facility, which was decimated by the explosion on August 4 when nearly 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrates detonated.

A column of black smoke billowed from the port with orange flames leaping from the ground.

The explosion in August killed more than 190 people, injured around 6,500 and damaged thousands of buildings in the Lebanese capital.

The sight of another huge fire a month later panicked residents traumatised by last month's explosion.

The state-run National News Agency said the fire was at a warehouse where tyres are placed. It added that firefighters are dealing with the blaze.

Army helicopters also battled to extinguish the fire.

Michel el-Murr, the head of the fire department search and rescue team, who was at the scene fighting the fire, said they were trying to surround the blaze.

"We don't know exactly what is burning, we are trying to put out the fire but it is too big, we need a mix of water and foam," he said.

"We have about 100 men here, including the fire department, civil defence and army as well as the helicopters, we are trying to contain the fire," he added.

Residents cracked open windows and called each other to warn of the new fire.

Local TV stations said companies with offices near the port asked their employees to leave the area. Lebanese troops closed the major road that passes near the port.

The economic cost of last month's blast is estimated at between £8bn and £12bn. The country's entire government later resigned, with citizens blaming the explosion on officials' corruption and neglect.

Belfast Telegraph