The Rhosus ship, whose stocks of ammonium nitrate allegedly caused the August 4 explosion at the port of Beirut, sank in early 2018. Here are the details of the fate of this building revealed by the New York Times.
Based on satellite images, photos and ship movement data, The New York Times traced the fate of the Rhosus ship on board which nearly 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate arrived in Beirut in 2013. The daily located this sunken ship since 2018.
The chemical body, stored for a few years at the port of Beirut, would have caused the devastating explosion on August 4, 2020. It claimed the lives of more than 150 people and injured nearly 5,000 others by destroying or damaging dozens of buildings and vehicles.
So, according to the New York Times, in September 2013, the Rhosus embarked on its final voyage from Batumi, Georgia. The ship should have transported its cargo to Mozambique, but the captain was ordered to make an unscheduled stopover in Beirut to take additional cargo.
Captain Boris Prokochev explained that they needed to earn extra money to pay for their passage through the Suez Canal. According to lawyers for the ship’s creditors, the additional cargo was supposed to be transported to Jordan.
Submersion of the vessel
In Beirut, the port authorities seized the ship after finding multiple technical failures, according to a 2014 maritime press article.
A photo taken in 2014 shows the captain with some of the bags of ammonium nitrate in the harbor.
These bags match those photographed later in the warehouse that eventually exploded on August 4. The footage was made public by a Lebanese journalist on Twitter after the incident:https://d-2009520028784947784.ampproject.net/2007242032002/frame.html
In addition, the company name also appears on the bags: Rustavi Azot LLC of Georgia. This name is also on the 2013 shipping documents for the trip.
Also according to the New York Times, a satellite photo shows that there was no cargo on the ship in 2015. According to reporters, in February 2018, the ship began to sink. It went completely underwater in a few days in the northern part of the port. This did not disrupt maritime traffic.
The ammonium nitrate was stored in a warehouse about 450 meters from where the ship sank.
The President of Lebanon said that since 2013 several administrations had received material warnings from the Rhosus vessel. An investigation is underway and 20 port officials have been arrested
Source : Sputnik