The product that would have caused this explosion is, according to the information now available, ammonium nitrate. This is widely used all over the world as fertilizer and is also frequently treated in the Port of Antwerp. Its production, handling and storage are strictly regulated in Belgium and take place in our port under very strict safety conditions.
Port Alderman Annick De Ridder: “My sincere condolences to the families and friends of the many victims who have been affected by this terrible explosion. Our thoughts go out to them. The situation in Beirut is by no means comparable to the port of Antwerp. First of all, there are strict safety standards and it is unthinkable that such a product would be stored for years in an amount that corresponds to the transshipment volumes in Flanders over a whole year."