While Danilo Coppe believes ammonium nitrate may have very well been involved, the Italian expert is convinced that lithium-metal was certainly involved in the explosion.
The explosion that occurred last Tuesday in Beirut remains surrounded by a lot of unknowns. While we do know that over 160 people were killed and roughly 5,000 injured, the actual source remains a mystery. It’s suggested that over 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate were involved. However, Italian demolitions expert Danilo Coppe suggests that while ammonium nitrate was likely a factor, other explosives certainly played a role.
Coppe explained his skepticism stating, “I do not believe there was that amount of ammonium nitrate at the Port of Beirut, nor that there was a fireworks depot,” even though there did appear to be fireworks that were detonated during the initial fire. He argues that certain evidence points to the fact that an explosive like lithium-metal was involved.
He explained, “Instead, from the videos of the explosion, in addition to the white sphere that can be seen expanding – which is condensation of the sea air – you can clearly see a brick orange column tending to bright red, typical of lithium’s presence.”
Several reports in the last week have suggested that a type of rocket fuel was involved, leading to the conclusion for many that Hezbollah was using at least one of the facilities to produce precision-guided missiles.
Shortly after the blast, Former Lebanese President Michel Aoun stated, “There are two possibilities for what happened. Either it was a result of negligence or external interference by a missile or a bomb.”