Lebanon hires firm to clear dangerous material from shattered Beirut port


BEIRUT - Lebanon’s authorities signed a contract this month with a German company to clear dangerous material stored for more than a decade at Beirut port, the site of a seismic blast in August that killed about 200 people and wrecked swathes of the capital.Combi Lift, which signed the contract three months after a huge quantity of poorly stored chemicals erupted in a mushroom cloud, will remove “flammable and highly reactive” chemicals from 49 containers at the port, the caretaker prime minister’s office said in a statement sent to Reuters.At least some of the chemicals the German firm will remove had been in storage at the port since 2009, although the statement did not give precise details.The fact that it took about three months since the blast to sign a deal to remove dangerous material still left at the shattered port, which lies in the heart of Beirut, will add to public frustration and a sense of political drift in a nation whose economy has imploded after years of mismanagement and corruption.Many Lebanese, particularly those who lost homes or who are still working on repairs since the Aug. 4 blast, are angry that results of an investigation have yet...read more...