CNA Staff, Aug 26, 2020 / 13:30 pm America/Denver (CNA).
The Maronite Catholic Patriarch of Antioch has said an international court may need to examine the circumstances that led to a massive explosion in Beirut on August 4.
Speaking to media on Aug. 26 after a visit to a Catholic school in Beirut, Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai said that while the Lebanese judiciary must look into the explosion, “if it fails, we must go to the international court.”
Boutros called the explosion, which killed at least 180 people and injured thousands, “a major crime and a crime against humanity. After six years of the presence of deadly substances, no one moves a finger. It is unacceptable. They do not have the right to remain idle.”
Thousands of people were left homeless by the explosion, which destroyed entire streets. The Beirut neighborhood of Gemmayze, where the cardinal visited the school Wednesday, was hit particularly hard.
The explosion originated after a warehouse storing tonnes of the explosive material ammonium nitrate, fireworks, and other flammable materials, caught fire. The explosive materials had been stored in the warehouse, seemingly unprotected, since 2013.