The ship Rhosus, which delivered a cargo of ammonium nitrate to Beirut, which could have caused the huge blast in the city on August 4, sank off the northern part of the port of Beirut in February 2018, New York Times reproted referring to data on the movement of ships and the analysis of images from satellites.
It is noted that in September 2013 the mentioned vessel left the Georgian Batumi and headed towards Mozambique. However, it was forced to stop in the Lebanese capital to pick up additional cargo.
According to the former captain of Rhosus Boris Prokoshev, the crew needed to earn extra money to pay for the passage through the Suez Canal. According to the lawyers representing the ship's creditors, the additional cargo was supposed to go to Jordan.
But in Beirut, the port administration found numerous flaws and confiscated the ship, the crew members were obliged to be on board. In August 2014, the crew was released, and the ship remained abandoned.
Further, the Lebanese authorities moved about 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate on the ship to the port warehouse, Gazeta reported
According to the NYT, in 2015, the vessel was moved about 300 meters up from the berth where it was staying so as not to interfere with the movement of ships. According to satellite images, in February 2018, Rhosus began to sink and sank under water within a few days.
On August 4, a powerful explosion occurred in Beirut port. Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab said the explosion was caused by improper storage of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate. The windows of neighboring buildings, as well as those located within a radius of several kilometers from the explosion site, were shattered, and part of the buildings were destroyed.