Egypt orders removal of idle “dangerous materials” from airports following deadly Beirut blast

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Egypt’s Civil Aviation ministry has ordered the removal of “dangerous materials” held at airports nationwide following the massive blast that rocked Lebanon’s Port of Beirut.

The ministry said the identified materials would either be released or transferred to more secure locations in order to eliminate any chances of an incident similar to Beirut’s occurring in the North African country.

The statement referred to materials held in “cargo bays and storage warehouses in Cairo’s airport and all airports nationwide,” without specifying which kind of materials would be moved.

“A committee will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of all procedures applied inside the storage areas… in order to address any risks before they arise,” AFP quotes Egypt’s civil aviation minister, Mohamed Manar.

A blast rocked the Port of Beirut at around 6 p.m. local time (1610 GMT) on 4 August, shaking buildings all over the city and causing massive casualties and damages.

The explosion killed at least 158 people and injured more than 6,000 others.

The cause of the blast is being investigated. But Lebanon’s prime minister, Hassan Diab, said the cause of the massive explosion was 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse for six years. President Michel Aoun tweeted it was “unacceptable” the explosives had been stored unsafely.

In a similar move to Egypt’s, Iraqi authorities also removed “high-risk items” from Baghdad International Airport, according to the Iraqi News Agency.

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