A massive explosion erupted in Lebanon’s capital Beirut on Tuesday, August 4.
The afternoon blast shook several parts of the capital with Local Red Cross reporting hundreds injured and widespread damage.
Local TV stations reported the blast was at Beirut’s port inside an area where firecrackers were stored.
At least 50 people have been killed and over 2,500 injured after the massive explosion occurred in the Beirut port area, damaging buildings and vehicles in Lebanon.
Lebanon’s health minister, Hamad Hassan said that the figures were “preliminary estimates,” while adding that the blasts had caused a ‘very high number of injuries’ and huge damage.
“It is a disaster in every sense of the word,” he said in an interview with several television channels while visiting a hospital in the Lebanese capital.
The explosion happened at around 6pm local time at the city’s port, where warehouses are believed to contain explosive materials.
Video coverage posted on social media showed smoke from a building in the port area before the explosion, sending a huge shockwave across the city that was heard and felt as far away as Cyprus – more than 200km (180 miles) away.
The explosion destroyed several vehicles and buildings including the house of former PM Saad Hariri, who has been confirmed safe by his party.
Beirut’s Hotel Dieu Hospital is said to have admitted more than 500 wounded patients and no longer receiving more, while Lebanon’s Red Cross confirmed many others were still trapped in their homes.
General Security chief Abbas Ibrahim said: ‘It appears that there is a warehouse containing material that was confiscated years ago, and it appears that it was highly explosive material.’
Prime Minister Hasan Diab has declared Wednesday, August 5, a day of mourning, and President Michel Aoun called for ‘urgent’ defence council talks.
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