Following the August 4 explosion, Lebanon signed a contract with Combi Lift, which was already working at the port, to clear containers carrying hazardous chemicals. There were 52 containers in total, which contained formic acid, hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acid, acetone, methyl bromide, sulfuric acid, peroxyacetic acid, sodium hydroxide, various glycerines.

The containers have been left for decades without any paper work or delivery details and hardly any information on their content. If they catch fire “Beirut will be wiped out”, interim port chief Bassem al-Kaisi said in November.