Mikati asks Hamieh to preserve southern part of Beirut port silos as memorial
Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati asked Tuesday caretaker Minister of Public Works & Transport Ali Hamieh to preserve the remaining southern block of the Beirut port silos as a memorial.
Another significant section of the devastated Beirut Port silos had collapsed on Tuesday morning in a cloud of dust, while the remaining southern block is more stable and not at imminent risk of collapse, said French civil engineer Emmanuel Durand, who has installed sensors on the silos.
In April, the government had ordered the silos' demolition but the operation was put on hold, partly because of objections from relatives of blast victims who want them preserved as a memorial. They also contend that the silos may contain evidence useful for the judicial probe.
In late July, part of the northern block collapsed for the first time. Days later on the second anniversary of the Beirut Port blast, roughly a fourth of the structure collapsed.
"We hold authorities responsible for what happened with the silos," said Mariana Fodoulian, who lost her sister in the explosion.
"We must preserve the southern block of silos" as a memorial, Fodoulian said, echoing the demands of many blast victim relatives.