At least 70 people were killed and more than 3,000 injured after a powerful explosion rocked Lebanon’s capital Beirut Tuesday. The blast, which flattened much of the city’s port, is said to have been caused by seized explosives stored in a warehouse at the port. After residents claimed there was an orange coloured cloud hanging over the city following the explosion, the local media reported it could be due to sodium nitrate.
The country’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab declared a national day of mourning soon after the blast occurred. He said those responsible for the “catastrophe” would be held to account. President Michel Aoun called for “urgent” defense council talk in the aftermath of the explosion.
Marwan Abboud, the Governor of Beirut, broke down on national television as he toured the site of the incident. “Beirut is a devastated city. Prime Minister Hassan Diab vowed that ‘those responsible will pay’,” he told reporters.
A civil defense official at the scene of the blast said his men had evacuated dozens to hospitals and that there were still bodies inside the port, many of them under debris. The injured are overwhelming Beirut’s hospitals, already struggling with coronavirus patients.
— Ahmer Khan (@ahmermkhan) August 4, 2020
BREAKING: Massive explosion in Beirut. Footage from the daily star office now in Lebanon pic.twitter.com/2uBsKP5wCH
— Ghada Alsharif (@GhadaaSharif) August 4, 2020
My apartment in Beirut was just blown apart. We think it was a missile from a jet. We're ok.
— Leila Molana-Allen (@Leila_MA) August 4, 2020
UPDATE: Fmr PM Saad Hariri is fine following news.
Two explosions near port in Beirut #Lebanon , second one left lot of damages in houses and cars. Ambulances called to area.
Another video shows magnitude of when it happened pic.twitter.com/lV9p5qMxbu
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) August 4, 2020
— Intel Air & Sea (@air_intel) August 4, 2020
— Ahmed Shihab-Eldin (@ASE) August 4, 2020
— SV News 🚨 (@SVNewsAlerts) August 4, 2020
The economic crisis in our country – already worsened by US sanctions – is about to get much worse. pic.twitter.com/vxycOYVrCm
— Sarah Abdallah (@sahouraxo) August 4, 2020
— Frummel (@_Frummel_) August 4, 2020