Beirut port blast victim relatives file $250 million lawsuit

$250 million lawsuit filed over Beirut blast

Families of the victims of Beirut port’s blast have filed a $250 million lawsuit against an American-Norwegian firm suspected of bringing explosive materials to the port.

Accountability Now, a Swiss organisation supporting Lebanese civil society seeking justice, announced that the lawsuit was filed on 11 July.

Some nine plaintiffs who are either Americans or relatives of an American are involved, the group said.

Accountability Now said the $250 million lawsuit names US-Norwegian geophysical services group TGS, saying it has entered into a series of “highly profitable but suspicious contracts with the Ministry of Energy in Lebanon.”

TGS owns British company Spectrum Geo, which Accountability Now said chartered the vessel that delivered 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate to Beirut.

More than 200 people died and 4,000 were injured following the explosion in Beirut on 4 August 2020

READ: UN grants $10 million to support Beirut reconstruction

“This claim will force TGS to disclose Spectrum’s communications with various third parties who are all relevant to the investigations in Lebanon,” said Zena Wakim, a lawyer for Accountability Now.

Wakim added that domestic investigation has been stalled since December 2021, following legal challenges brought by officials wanted for questioning against the investigative judge working on the case.

The investigation has revealed that most government officials knew of the dangerous material stored at the port.

The news follow the Lebanese Government’s announcement to launch an auction to reconstruct the Port of Beirut following the deadly explosion.

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