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Lebanon crisis: Fire erupts in Zaha Hadid-designed shopping mall in Beirut



Firefighters extinguish the flames from a flame that engulfed a landmark modern building, designed by the late world-renowned British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, in central Beirut on September 15, 2020Image copyright
AFP

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It is not immediately known what caused the fire in the Beirut Souks Center

A fire broke out at a shopping mall built in Beirut, marking the third flame in a week in a city still writhing after a devastating explosion in August.

Firefighters quickly extinguished the flames, damaging a corner of the Beirut Souks̵

7; lattice roof.

There were no reports of injuries and the cause of the fire is not yet known.

The building was designed according to the practice of the famous late British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid.

Dame Zaha was born in Baghdad and studied mathematics at the American University of Beirut – where she later designed a building on campus, which was completed in 2014 – before beginning her career at the Architectural Association in London.

Her other creations include the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London, the Riverside Museum at Glasgow’s Transport Museum and the Guangzhou Opera House in China.

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The Beirut Souks are located in a commercial district close to the city’s port, where an explosion six weeks ago killed nearly 200 people, injured 6,000 others and caused as much as $ 4.6 billion. (£ 3.6 billion) Physical damage and $ 3.5 billion. Of financial damage.

The disaster, which is still under investigation, occurred when a fire triggered the detonation of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate that had been stored unsafe.

Firefighters extinguish a flame in the Beirut Souks shopping mall, which is under construction in Beirut, Lebanon (September 15, 2020)Image copyright
Reuters

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The shopping center is located in a commercial district close to the port of Beirut

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Firefighters extinguish flames in a modern landmark building in central Beirut on September 15, 2020.Image copyright
AFP

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Firefighters quickly extinguished the flames

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Last week, two fires in the harbor caused alarm and anger among residents who have accused the ruling elite of corruption, neglect and mismanagement.

There was a small fire last Tuesday that was quickly extinguished, and a larger fire Thursday at a port warehouse where help was kept.

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More about the explosion in Beirut

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A study of the latter flames showed that sparks from a chainsaw could have been the cause.

“It’s awful. It’s incredible,” jogger Joe Sayegh told Reuters news agency as he stood near the Beirut Souks following the latest fire on Tuesday. “Every day we have a problem.”

A man is checking the damage after a fire broke out in a landmark building in Beirut's commercial district, Lebanon, on September 15, 2020.Image copyright
Getty Images

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The flames damaged a corner of the Beirut Souks’ lattice roof

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The facade is a new commercial complex in Beirut designed by the late British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid.  To the left is the Majidiyah Mosque of the Lebanese capital.  August 5, 2020Image copyright
AFP

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The Beirut Souks Center was still under construction (Photo from August 2020)

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Lebanon was already undergoing an economic crisis that had caused its currency to collapse, driven unemployment and plunged many into poverty.

The government withdrew in the wake of the Beirut explosion, and Western powers demanded that its replacement implement reforms to unlock economic support.

“If they are the same people, nothing will change,” Sayegh said.

All photos are copyrighted.


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