Fuel explosion in Lebanon killed at least 28 people and injured nearly 80 people in northern Lebanon early on August 15, 2021. 

As per military sources, the army had seized a fuel storage tank that was hidden by black marketeers and was handing out gasoline to residents when the explosion occurred.

The explosion scalded a crowd that was clamoring to grab the fuel. Lebanon has grappling with a severe fuel shortage, which has extended blackouts and led to long lines at gas stations.

What happened exactly?

•A 60,000-liter fuel tank that had been stored illegally in a warehouse in Tleil town near the Syrian border exploded while the area’s residents had gathered to collect gasoline. The explosion triggered a stampede.

•The fuel was hidden illegally and it had been seized by the Lebanese armed forces.

How many casualties have been reported?

Around 20 bodies have been recovered from the blast site and about 79 people have been injured. Search is on for more casualties. As per Lebanon Health Ministry, the death toll has been increased to 28.

What caused the explosion?

•The exact reason for the explosion is not known, the Lebanese authorities are still investigating the cause. 

•The Lebanese army has been distributing fuel to local residents amid a severe shortage.

•As per the local media, it is not known how much fuel was left in the tank when it ignited. The owner of the land from where the fuel was confiscated has been arrested. 

Background

•Lebanon has been suffering from a severe fuel crisis and one of the worst economic collapses. The nation has been suffering from electricity cuts for decades, mainly due to corruption and mismanagement. 

•The nation has been facing severe power and fuel shortage in recent weeks, as the economic crisis has left the government unable to import enough fuel.

•The latest tragedy has overwhelmed medical facilities in the country’s remote north area. It has also revived the bitter memories of the major explosion that had taken place at Beirut port in August 2020, which had killed more than 200 people and destroyed large parts of Lebanon’s capital. 

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