The Orient Queen cruise ship owned by Abou Merhi Cruises was docked in its' homeport of Beirut, Lebanon when a massive explosion occurred at the port. The incident is still under investigation but it has been confirmed that nearly 2750 tons of Ammonium Nitrate was set off by a fire at the port. The explosion that resulted killed over 135, injured over 5,000, and over are 100 still missing. Beirut Gov. Marwan Abboud stated over 300,000 have also been left homeless. A large portion of the Port of Beirut was flattened and many ships within it were severely damaged or destroyed.
The Orient Queen was docked less than 1500 feet from the main explosion. The ship began to list to it's starboard side immediately after the explosion and within hours took on enough water to capsize. At the time of the explosion there were crew members onboard. It has been confirmed that at least 2 crew members have died and an additional 7 have been listed in critical condition.
The explosion also destroyed the head office of the ship's operator, Abou Merhi Cruises. The offices were located very near to where the ship was docked.
The Orient Queen, in the image below, can be seen listing to the starboard side shortly after the explosion on August 4, 2020.
By the next morning, on August 5, 2020, the ship would be capsized.
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