Egypt Watch

Beirut’s fate threatens Egypt’s airports

The Egyptian government has formed a supreme committee to examine and remove dangerous material stored in the country’s airports, fearing it will meet a fate similar to Beirut. This decision came days after the Beirut Port explosion which rocked the Lebanese capital, killing more than 200 people and wounding 6,000.

In a statement on Sunday the Egyptian Cabinet said that the Ministry of Civil Aviation is keen to maintain the safety and security of all workers and visitors to airports across the country. The statement added that the committee headed by the head of the security sector at the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Major General Tariq Nasir, will examine all shipments and warehouses in the goods village and storage yards of Cairo Airport, in addition to all other airports nationwide.

The committee will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of all procedures applied inside the storage areas, to provide the highest safety and security standards, and transfer of hazardous materials and their immediate release or transfer to safe storage places away from airports and passengers. The explosion of a massive shipment of ammonium nitrate last week caused the displacement of about 300,000 and caused extensive economic damage and losses in Beirut.

Egyptian activists denounced the Egyptian officials’ lack of action after the disaster in Beirut. They demanded that the results of the warehouse inspection be announced publicly and officials be held accountable.