Officials say the fire started in a store of oil and tires, but the cause is unknown.
A huge fire broke out today at the Port of Beirut, the site of last month’s catastrophic explosion that killed nearly 200 people and devastated parts of the capital. The fire triggered widespread panic among traumatized residents of the area.
It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the fire at the facility.
Smoke covered the capital and firefighters and ambulances rushed to the scene. Army helicopters were taking part in efforts to extinguish the fire.
The Lebanese army said the fire started at a warehouse where oil and tires are placed in the duty free zone, adding that efforts to battle the fire were ongoing.
Panicked residents, still struggling to get over last month’s catastrophic explosion cracked open windows and called and texted each other to warn them of the new danger. Local TV stations said companies that have offices near the port asked their employees to leave the area.
Beirut Gov. Marwan Abboud and authorities called on people to stay away from roads leading to the port to allow fire engines to move quickly. It was the second fire at the port this week. On Tuesday, a small fire erupted, also creating some panic, that was quickly extinguished