No fewer than 78 people have been confirmed dead and over 3,000 injured after massive explosions erupted in with Beirut port area devastating vehicles and buildings in Lebanon.
According to Lebanon’s health minister, Hamad Hassan, the figures were “preliminary estimates,” 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 which occurred twice about 6pm local time in the city’s port where warehouses are believed to contain explosive materials.
Dramatic footage posted on social media shows smoke billowing from a building in the port area before an enormous fireball explodes into the sky, sending a vast shock wave across the city that was heard and felt as far away as Cyprus – more than 200km (180 miles) away.
The explosion which rocked the city’s port on Tuesday afternoon, destroyed many buildings, including former Prime minister Saad Harri’s house, who have been confirmed safe by his party.
Beriut’s Hotel Dieu Hospital was said to have been overwhelmed by patient having received more than 500 patients, couldn’t admit anymore, 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.’
Meanwhile, Lebanese Prime Minister Hasan Diab has declared Wednesday, August 5, a day of mourning, and President Michel Aoun called for ‘urgent’ defence council talks
He However, said Beirut explosions was caused by an estimated 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate left unsecured for 6 years in a warehouse, and promise to punish officials responsible.
Israel has denied any involvement amid escalating tensions with the militant group Hezbollah along the country’s southern border.
However, the United States has promised to assist Lebanon after about 78 people have been confirmed dead and 3000 others injured.
US President Donald Trump who made this disclosure at a press briefing on Tuesday, said the explosion was a bomb blast, describing the incidents as a terrible attack.