1st Prize Stories, Spot News, Nominee, World Press Photo of the Year

14 August 2020

Lorenzo Tugnoli, Italy


Port Explosion in Beirut

A massive explosion, caused by more than 2,750 tons of high-density ammonium nitrate, shook Lebanon’s capital Beirut, on 4 August. The blast damaged or destroyed around 6,000 buildings, killed at least 190 people, injured a further 6,000, and displaced as many as 300,000. The explosive compound, impounded after a shipping dispute, was being stored in an inappropriate climate in a warehouse in the port. Many citizens saw the incident as symptomatic of the ongoing problems the country is facing, namely governmental failure, mishandling and corruption.

What I love about this story is that only one photograph shows sports in action. It goes beyond the obvious. The photos show the sense of community that sports can engender, how teamwork can enlighten and empower young athletes and keep people together, even after the game is over.

Kathy Moran, General Jury member