Picture from TheDailyStar
Whatever I say about the unpreparedness and inexperience of our fire department, security forces, ministry of interior, army helicopters and other factions won’t change the fact that the Safra carpet factory will be demolished today or tomorrow never to be rebuilt again.
For those of you who don’t know, the carpet factory was one of the Middle East’s oldest and biggest factories and its owner a renowned Lebanese businessman. Moreover, the factory was well-equipped against fires but given the amount and quality of electricity we get, you can never be safe from electricity shortcuts or whatever caused the fire.
Having said all that, I leave you with this entertaining (yet tragic) series of actions and measures that the various concerned parties took when the fire erupted:
- Once the fire erupted, the first fire department trucks to reach the location had no water. It took some time and hundreds of phone calls and wastas for water-filled fire trucks to arrive.
- Fire-Fighting Helicopters did not show up until hours later when the fire had spread quickly. The pilots were inexperienced and throwing water all over the place. My friend who was on the highway near the factory got showered twice.
- The Lebanese Interior Minister consulted few experts and decided that the factory should be demolished on Saturday and decided to close down the highway on both sides. That was a wise decision as the building was a threat to cars passing by.
- On Sunday, two bulldozers and a crane were deployed to bring down the factory even though one of the engineers on site, the factory ownerâ€™s relative, advised that a wrecking ball is needed.
- Few hours later, and after several failed attempts, officials decide to bring a wrecking ball which needs a day or two to install.
- Instead of keeping the roads closed, they decide to re-open them (Building on the verge of collapsing is no longer a threat now?) before removing the dust and clearing them properly. As a result, some idiot behind the wheels drifted and hit a Syrian worker standing on the side of the highway, injuring him gravely. Road is closed again for some time then re-opened later on.
MTV showed yesterday a footage of the car that drifted and hit the poor man. It’s at Minute 24:52 of the news. I will try to find it on YouTube later on today.
All in all, I don’t think I need to elaborate further to make my point clear on how responsive our government and authorities are in fighting fires and protecting our industries.