BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Fire at Lebanon's justice ministry, director general and staff injured

  • Red Cross workers evacuate a man on a stretcher after a fire broke out at the justice ministry in Beirut, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

  • Smoke rises after a fire broke out at the justice ministry in Beirut, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

  • Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi uses a towel to clean his face after checking the fire that broke out at the justice ministry building in Beirut, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

  • A firefighter gestures as he extinguishes a fire that broke out at the justice ministry in Beirut, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: A fire broke out at Lebanon's justice ministry in Beirut, injuring Director General Omar Natour, his son Mahmoud and eight employees.

Firefighters managed to put out the fire about an hour after it broke out around 1 p.m.

A source at the ministry said Natour suffered minor burns to his face, in addition to a head injury sustained when he passed out due to smoke inhalation.

Natour's son and eight staff members suffered smoke inhalation and slight burns, the source said, adding that they and Natour were taken to local hospitals for treatment.

Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi inspected the building and expressed relief that Natour and the other employees were not seriously hurt.

“They should soon leave the hospitals,” Qortbawi told reporters outside the Justice Ministry.

The fire, which was likely ignited by power line friction due to voltage fluctuations, erupted on the fourth floor and quickly spread to the fifth floor of the five-story building in Furn al-Shebbak, near the National Museum.

Natour's office is located on the fifth floor.

In all, firefighters rescued about a dozen ministry staff who were trapped with Natour on the ministry's upper floor.

Four fire trucks from the Beirut fire department were involved in the operation.

 
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