Part of Safra Carpet Factory Collapses as Fire Ragesإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
A huge part of a carpet factory that was engulfed in flames in the coastal town of Safra, north of Beirut, collapsed on Friday after its outer walls cracked from the force of flames.
The collapse of “Byblos” factory’s western front came after firefighters cleared the area following the partial cracks in the walls.
The collapse threw debris to the abutting highway and caused flames in a small bush near the building.
The Internal Security Forces immediately blocked the Safra highway for traffic heading from Beirut to the town of Byblos, advising commuters to take the coastal road instead.
But they later reopened the road after the incident caused heavy traffic.
The fire, which erupted at 9:00 am on the 2,000-meter-square fourth floor, reached the fifth floor after a short while.
Two Lebanese army helicopters scrambled to help the firefighting vehicles in battling the blaze and containing it to prevent the flames from reaching nearby oil tanks.
“Byblos” sources told Voice of Lebanon radio (93.3) that an electric short circuit could have caused the fire at the five-storey factory owned by Varoujan and Zaven Festekjian.
Red Cross Operations Director George Kettaneh told LBC television that there were no injuries although reports said five workers were given first aid for respiratory problems.
Although there is no information on the building's age, the factory, which has around 100 workers, says on its website that it has been a powerful name in the rug industry in Lebanon and the middle East for nearly 40 years.