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Dakar Cleans Up its Port to Avoid a Beirut Disaster

The port of Senegal’s capital Dakar on Thursday said it had requested the removal of around 2,700 tonnes of highly explosive ammonium nitrate stored in its complex – the same volume of the chemical that caused Beirut’s devastating port blast this month. The unidentified owner of the stockpile has found a warehouse to store the industrial chemical outside the city, according to the general directorate of the port, which sits next to Dakar’s densely populated downtown. “The dramatic situation that Beirut has just experienced” prompted the High Commander of Dakar’s port to take journalists on a tour of the port’s facilities to show that security measures are up to standard, the statement said. The Beirut blast should be a wake-up call for countries on the dangers of ammonium nitrate, experts say. Commonly used in fertilisers and as an industrial explosive, it is considered relatively safe if handled properly, but has caused some of the world’s deadliest industrial accidents.

SOURCE: REUTERS AFRICA