BASRA (Dispatches) – Iraq’s Border Ports Authority announced on Sunday the evacuation of 13 containers at the Basra ports for containing "highly dangerous chemicals”.
The authority’s Director, Omar Adnan Al-Waeli, told official Alsumaria that the border guards had conducted an "inspection visit to the Basra border crossing to implement the directives of Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi to evacuate the dangerous chemicals containers from the city’s port.”
Al-Waeli pointed out that the guards had removed 13 containers which housed "highly dangerous materials” after completing all procedures to ensure they were far from the port facilities and surrounding residential areas.
This comes as Iraq checks storage spaces around its ports in response to a large blast that devastated Beirut port, Lebanon, in August as a result of a warehouse which housed highly explosive ammonium nitrate without the necessary precautions.
A German firm has removed numerous containers holding hazardous chemicals from the Beirut port, which are set to be shipped out of the country half a year after the catastrophic blast that destroyed the city.
Germany’s Ambassador to Lebanon Andreas Kindl announced the move taken by the company Combi Lift yesterday, writing on Twitter that it "treated 52 containers of hazardous and dangerous chemical material that had been accumulated over decades and were a threat to the people in Beirut.”
According to the British news agency Reuters, the hazardous material found at the port months ago amounts to almost 4,000 tonnes, which is far more than the 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored at the port that caused the Beirut explosion on 4 August last year.
The chemicals found by Combi Lift were reportedly corrosive acids and not ammonium nitrate, but they allegedly still have the capability to cause another explosion, with the director of the firm saying that "what we found here was a second Beirut bomb.”
The containers holding the chemicals are set to be shipped to Germany.