Army Rumour Service

Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

Beirut Explosion, so what was it?

I wonder if UK personnel in Akrotiri will be on stand by to provide SAR assistance? And don't forget UK personnel from RAG who provide training and mentoring to the LAF on behalf of HMG. Many of them live in down-town Beirut. And of course, our people in HBM Embassy (including a number of SP).

84 Sqn no stranger to Beirut if it is not on standby A little 3 and half decades ago along with Phantoms and Buccaneers in support of peacekeeping forces ..then Need descde later, their Wessex sent into the Lebanese mountain a with humanitarian effort in 92/93...

Their Bell 412 Griffon did exercise in Jordan I believe few years back.

Lebanese uses couple of former Offshore — Bristow Sikorsky S-61N for SAR...amongst ex Us Army Bell UH-1H etc

Not sure if they have deployed but while back US Army aviation were talking about returning back to Cyprus as forward based deployment. But akrotiri was not the base they wanted to go to as 3 decades ago, the Beirut Air Bridge Army UH-60A Blackhawks rotated from West German based units.


The Air BRidge supported the US Embassy in Beirut as a Life line and other diplomatic sensitive cough cough missions. Mate of mine who was a CWO flew with Beirut Air Bridge I. 88/89.

The mission in the last 2 decades have been carried out By the Department of State Air Wing Sikorsky S-61N And S-61T Triton ( DoS was the only customer for the T Triron model and Sikorsky stopped production) .

122B489B-F12E-4ACA-B7C9-51E73968DCC2.jpeg
249054C7-1899-4004-B3A2-746E20AC8EB7.jpeg
2E24F226-3E02-4FC2-9361-54290C762EEB.jpeg
8AECE7FA-3131-46C4-88F6-180EFDD8415C.jpeg
8AECE7FA-3131-46C4-88F6-180EFDD8415C.jpeg
EF193065-8621-4141-A635-8BFC4E3DBC56.jpeg
882C9E3F-C2AE-4952-BFB3-11F583ADD132.jpeg
2D13C01D-85D9-4A60-9C2E-C24F5EBDB428.jpeg


Laughingly, I saw one of Akroriri based State Department Air Wing former 61N operating in airborne Firefighting Season with Helicopter Transport Seevices Inc, back in Feb at Chino Airport (my pic below). This was also a former Resident of Aberdeen with CHc.

A428AC66-9E3C-471E-9183-26D429B50709.jpeg



Cheers
 
Some poor lass was having a wedding when the explosion occurred. I can't tell when the explosion happened due to the noise.

 
I’m currently working on a project in Lebanon but because of COVID I’m working remotely. Thank Christ as this bit of the port isn’t very far from many of the various embassies and ministries, or the hotel I normally stay in. The Swedish and Dutch embassies are quite close to the port, for example.

During my visits there over the years, I’ve learned that the government is a patchwork quilt with various ministries shared between different factions.

My UN source (who works quite closely with the Army) said the stuff was confiscated. It’s not hard to imagine that once it was taken off the ship it sat there because none of the ministries could agree what to do with it.

The Australian Embassy has been 'significantly impacted' according to PM Morrison. One Aussie dead, not clear if they were at the Embassy or elswhere.

E2A: fatality not Emb pers, but some Emb pers injured.

E2A further:

NED-2090-Beirut-Explosion_9Igq1qSc5.jpg
 
Last edited:

Tyk

LE
BBC website saying 78 dead 4,000 injured, that looks fortunately low considering the magnitude of the blast. The shattering of umpteen windows must be responsible for a lot of the casualties poor bastards.
 
The Australian Embassy has been 'significantly impacted' according to PM Morrison. One Aussie dead, not clear if they were at the Embassy or elswhere.

E2A: fatality not Emb pers, but some Emb pers injured.
There's a few Aussie diplomats injured

 
A few years ago I took over temporary management of a small dock estate. One of the tenants was importing ammonium nitrate which raised a red flag somewhere in the dark recesses of my little head. We rang up the Environment Agency who closed the whole dock down till it was removed. They also produced a plan showing the blast radius if the stuff had cooked off - a local village would have been all but obliterated, oops!
 
There's a few Aussie diplomats injured

Interesting to read that there are 20,000 Australians living in Lebanon - Australia has always had a significant Lebanese community (and some were behind the creation of the Aussie wine industry - and in NZ, as well). I can't recall the number of those entitled to UK protection in Beruit, but it runs into the thousands.

ETA: There are standing Strategic Command contingency plans to evacuate entitled pers from Beruit...via the port. Oops!
 
Last edited:

happyuk

War Hero
Lebanon's Prime Minsiter Hassan Diab has said it is "unacceptable" that 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate were being stored in a warehouse.

"I will not rest until we find the person responsible for what happened so we can hold them to account and impose the most severe punishment," the prime minister was quoted as saying by an official Twitter account.


It seems a bit odd for him to point the finger so soon, before an investigation has even taken place.

He also goes on to say

"It is unacceptable that a shipment of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate has been present for six years in a warehouse, without taking preventive measures and endangering the safety of citizens"

So did he already know this, and if so surely the buck stops with him?

(Update) But yes, 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate is pretty damn insane... The question I'd REALLY like answered is why it was stored basically "in the city".

I highly doubt a fire works factory (and it did seem to be ) ever had that amount of raw explosive material; it's good to question stuff... but perhaps things are deeper and more.... timely, than we consider.
 
Last edited:
Interesting to read that there are 20,000 Australians living in Lebanon - Australia has always had a significant Lebanese community (and some where behind the creation of the Aussie wine industry). I can't recall the number of those entitled to UK protection, but it runs into the thousands.

Once they've got their bread hooks on the aged pension, a lot choof off 'home'. Greeks likewise. I didn't know there was a Leb connection to the wine industry, every day etc.
 
84 Sqn no stranger to Beirut if it is not on standby A little 3 and half decades ago along with Phantoms and Buccaneers in support of peacekeeping forces ..then Need descde later, their Wessex sent into the Lebanese mountain a with humanitarian effort in 92/93...

Their Bell 412 Griffon did exercise in Jordan I believe few years back.

Lebanese uses couple of former Offshore — Bristow Sikorsky S-61N for SAR...amongst ex Us Army Bell UH-1H etc

Not sure if they have deployed but while back US Army aviation were talking about returning back to Cyprus as forward based deployment. But akrotiri was not the base they wanted to go to as 3 decades ago, the Beirut Air Bridge Army UH-60A Blackhawks rotated from West German based units.


The Air BRidge supported the US Embassy in Beirut as a Life line and other diplomatic sensitive cough cough missions. Mate of mine who was a CWO flew with Beirut Air Bridge I. 88/89.

The mission in the last 2 decades have been carried out By the Department of State Air Wing Sikorsky S-61N And S-61T Triton ( DoS was the only customer for the T Triron model and Sikorsky stopped production) .

View attachment 494620View attachment 494621View attachment 494622View attachment 494623View attachment 494623View attachment 494624View attachment 494625View attachment 494626

Laughingly, I saw one of Akroriri based State Department Air Wing former 61N operating in airborne Firefighting Season with Helicopter Transport Seevices Inc, back in Feb at Chino Airport (my pic below). This was also a former Resident of Aberdeen with CHc.

View attachment 494627


Cheers

Are you a helicopter salesman?
 
It seems a bit odd for him to point the finger so soon, before an investigation has even taken place.

He also goes on to say



So did he already know this, and if so surely the buck stops with him?

(Update) But yes, 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate is pretty damn insane... The question I'd REALLY like answered is why it was stored basically "in the city".

I highly doubt a fire works factory (and it did seem to be ) ever had that amount of raw explosive material; it's good to question stuff... but perhaps things are deeper and more.... timely, than we consider.
One assumes the stuff was meant for Syria and seized by lebanon and then left to languish in a warehouse these past 6 years..Why now, as I assume welders work in beirut port all the time, so was the stuff been moved around in recent days and secretly been sold on by some local entrepenuers.
 

Blogg

LE
So much shit still in the MSM: "experts" and "contributors" popping up with their opinions and theories, one confidently stating this was "clearly" a bomb making operation as AN "cannot" explode alone

So all of these were all "clearly" bomb making operations as well then:


Whatever the cause, big problem for an already troubled place is that the Port itself has been badly damaged

 

green_slime

Old-Salt
In its own right ammonium nitrate is stable(ish). The amount of red smoke looks like unburnt material. Likely to be an initial explosion that resulted in the rest joining in. What that initial reaction will be would be the key. It could be accidental -oil leak combined with extreme heat, or something deliberate.
 
Top