At 06:08 on 4th August 2020, 2,700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate exploded in the port of Beirut. The huge shock wave destroyed large parts of the city. 200 people died, over 6,500 were injured and hundreds of thousands of people were made homeless.
The fire brigade was called to Beirut port just before 6pm to extinguish a fire in a warehouse. They heard a strange crackling noise but were utterly unprepared for what happened next. It was a massive explosion, later estimated to be the equivalent of 1.1 kilotons of TNT. As a comparison, the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima was the equivalent of 15 kilotons.
One year after the explosion, its exact cause has still not been explained. It’s also unclear who bears responsibility for the catastrophe.
The whole government under Lebanese prime minister Hassan Diab had to step down - but is still in office in a caretaker role. No one has yet been held accountable.
The film is an attempt to reconstruct the events.