A massive explosion has killed at least ten people and left hundreds injured after the blast devastated part of Lebanon’s capital Beirut.
- Lebanese Red Cross official Georges Kettaneh says there are hundreds of casualties, including dead and wounded
- Lebanon’s prime minister cites ammonium nitrate as the likely cause.
- High Defense Council declares a two-week state of emergency.
- Secretary-general of the Kataeb Party Nizar Najarian reportedly killed.
- Lebanon’s internal security chief says the blast was in a port area with highly explosive material.
- Explosion heard from 150 miles (approx. 240 kilometres) away.
Pictures show buildings destroyed, people walking wounded, and a sea of wreckage after the blast that could be heard some 125 miles away in Cyprus.
Lebanon’s state news agency NNA and two security sources said the blast had occurred in the port area where there are warehouses housing explosives, reports Reuters. Buildings around the port have been levelled, windows and doors have been blown out and huge plumes of smoke are blowing across Beirut.
The Government Palace, the home of Lebanon’s PM Hassan Diab, was damaged in the blast, and his wife and daughter were injured in the explosion. Video shows a column of smoke rising from the port area from what appeared to be an initial explosion, followed by a massive blast that sent up a mushroom cloud and a shock wave.
Lebanese security services have said the blast was caused by a fire in a depot of highly explosive material, including Sodium nitrate. They said that material was confiscated from a ship months ago and stored there. The Lebanese health ministry had previously claimed the explosion was caused by fireworks.
Al Mayadeen television reported there were hundreds of casualties, and the Lebanese Red Cross have said they are receiving thousands of emergency calls. Beirut’s governor Philip Boulos called the explosion a national disaster and compared it to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear attacks.
At least 78 people were killed in the blast, Health Minister Hamad Hasan said, according to Reuters. He said at least 4,000 people have been wounded.
“There are many people missing until now,” Hasan said, according to Reuters. “People are asking the emergency department about their loved ones and it is difficult to search at night because there is no electricity. We are facing a real catastrophe and need time to assess the extent of damages.”
Lebanese security and medical sources have confirmed at least ten dead bodies have been removed from the scene of the explosion. Read more Beirut explosion – Massive blast with mushroom cloud rips through Lebanese capital killing 10 and injuring scores https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/1231121…
Witnesses claim there may have been two blasts – with many people filming the aftermath of the first when the second ripped through the city.
Warning: The following videos may not be suited for all viewers…
Another angle of the explosion.
A final angle from the sea.
Two new angles of the explosion. The first is from a distance and allows you to get a better glimpse of the shock-wave and the second is another view from on the water.
The person recording the next video had no cover and was very close to the blast.
Livestream & video of the after-effects of the explosion below.