BEIRUT: Beirut blast was caused by burning military missiles, not ammonium nitrate, claimed an explosives expert from Italy.
Danilo Coppe, 56 is one of Italy’s leading explosive experts.
He believes the August 4 blast, which killed 160 people, wounded nearly 6,000 and destroyed 300,000 homes, was not caused by ammonium nitrate because the colour of the cloud was orange.
The explosives expert, nicknamed Mr. Dynamite, explained that when ammonium nitrate detonates, it generates an unmistakable yellow cloud.
But videos of the explosion show orange plumes of smoke, Mr Coppe said.
‘There should have been a catalyst, because otherwise it wouldn’t all have exploded together.
‘You can clearly see a brick orange column tending to bright red, typical of lithium participation. Which in the form of lithium-metal is the propellant for military missiles. I think there were armaments there,’ he said.
Mr Coppe explained that he thought there was a first, larger explosion, which may have started a fire where the ammunition was stored.
He claimed that this would have then spread to ‘where there was some high explosive contained in rockets or missiles’.
The explosion was believed to be a fifth of the size of Hiroshima was so enormous that it altered the shape of not only of Beirut’s skyline but even of its Mediterranean coastline.