Canada Senegal: a quantity of ammonium nitrate equivalent to that of Beirut stored at the port of Dakar

22:26  20 august  2020
22:26  20 august  2020 Source:   lepoint.fr

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Le port autonome de Dakar le 2 mars 2020 © SEYLLOU The autonomous port of Dakar on March 2, 2020

Around 2,700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, a quantity equivalent to that at the origin of the deadly and devastating explosion in Beirut, are stored in a transit zone of the port of Dakar, said Thursday the Senegalese authorities, who have not yet found a solution to evacuate them.

Some 3,050 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, a product used both as an agricultural fertilizer and in the civil explosives sector (mining sector and public works), were unloaded in Dakar, the management of the Autonomous Port of Paris said in a statement. the Senegalese capital, a public institution, without specifying their date of arrival.

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The port of Dakar borders the historic center of the capital, whose metropolitan area has more than three million inhabitants.

"Of this tonnage, 350 tonnes have already been evacuated to Mali, which remains its final destination", according to the port management, which claims to have "given notice to the owner for the removal of the goods".

Problem: the borders of Mali, a landlocked country neighboring Senegal, have been closed since the military coup that overthrew President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta on Tuesday.

The owner of the products has proposed that they be temporarily stored on land belonging to him in Diamniadio, a new town under development some thirty kilometers from Dakar.

But the Ministry of the Environment, to which a request was submitted, "did not accept it because all the conditions are not met," one of its officials, Baba Dramé, told AFP on Thursday. referring in particular to "the absence of an impact study".

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"We have asked the owner to make arrangements so that the product can be shipped outside Senegal," he added.

President Macky Sall for his part demanded Wednesday in the Council of Ministers a "national plan of census (and) audit of security of deposits of dangerous chemicals", according to a press release from the presidency.

In 1992, an explosion in Dakar of a tanker truck carrying liquid ammonia left 107 dead and 300 injured.

On August 4, a gigantic explosion at the port of Beirut left at least 181 dead, more than 6,500 injured and devastated entire swathes of the Lebanese capital.

It was caused by a fire in a warehouse where, according to the authorities, 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate had been stored for six years, "without precautionary measures" by the very admission of the resigned Prime Minister Hassan Diab.

The autonomous port of Dakar has "taken all the necessary measures to be in order to avoid such disasters", according to its management.

mrb / siu / stb

Senegal: the authorities are mobilizing to remove ammonium nitrate from the port of Dakar .
© Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0 Babacar Dioum View of the autonomous port of Dakar in September 2019 (illustrative image). In Senegal, a quantity of ammonium nitrate, equivalent to that of Beirut, is stored in a transit zone of the autonomous port of Dakar, in the heart of the Senegalese capital. Only 350 of the 3,050 tonnes in storage have already been evacuated.

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