Lebanese file a complaint in the USA against the company that owned the boat transporting the ammonium nitrate – AlManar-Lebanon channel site

Lebanese file a complaint in the USA against the company that owned the boat transporting the ammonium nitrate – AlManar-Lebanon channel site

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A group of 9 people from the families of the victims of the explosion in the port of Beirut on August 4, 2020, filed a complaint in the United States before the court in Houston, Texas, against the American company TGS Nopec Geophysical, owner of the seismic prospecting company Spectrum and the chartered vessel Rhosus, which transported the ammonium nitrate and offloaded it in Lebanon.

The families of the victims accuse Spectrum of being responsible for “the negligence which resulted in the death of their loved ones”. They hope with this complaint to clarify the exact role played by the company in the explosion.

The complaint argues that the reckless chartering of an “unseaworthy, explosives-carrying vessel without the necessary permits violates individual contract clauses, local laws and industry best practices, which is ultimately responsible for this horrific explosion.”

According to the Swiss newspaper Le Temps, the complaint accuses the company Spectrum of having chartered the boat Rhosus in 2013, to sail to the port of Beirut. It was a dilapidated boat that contained hundreds of tons of nitrate, initially intended for Mozambique.

While the ship was not supposed to go to Beirut, the Spectrum company sent it to Lebanon, to pick up the huge seismic analysis equipment. But as soon as the ship arrived in port, it began loading 160 tonnes of seismic survey equipment that Lebanese authorities had previously requested, unrelated to the ammonium nitrate.

The ship then unloaded the ammonium nitrate and stored it in the port of Beirut, as the additional load could lead to the permanent breakage and damage of the ship, which ultimately remained for 7 years in the port.

Quoting one of the victims, lawyer Tania Abu Alam, two years after the explosion, the Swiss newspaper reports “many gray areas. The Rhosus that was carrying the ammonium nitrate, was a death ship, it was in poor condition, so why did Spectrum hire it to transport seismic devices? »

Lawyer Zina Wakim, who represents the victims alongside the American Adam Ford, is surprised that “the company chose this boat among all the boats available, knowing that it was already at 300% of its maximum authorized capacity. , with 2,750 tonnes of explosives on board, it was flying the Moldovan flag, did not have the necessary ramps to transport the suspected seismic devices and had been arrested by the Spanish port authorities due to technical malfunctions”.

A huge explosion occurred in the port of the Lebanese capital, Beirut, on August 4, 2020, killing more than 200 people and injuring around 6,000 others, as well as causing massive material damage to residential buildings and commercial institutions.

Source: Media



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