Terror struck in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, on Tuesday, August 4. This follows a massive blast which the Lebanese Red Cross says has injured hundreds of people and caused widespread damage.
Presently it is unclear what caused the explosion. However, video footage posted online shows the explosion demolishing the building and causing extensive damage to nearby property.
According to reports, the large building was situated in the port, close to the city centre. While the cause of the explosion is still murky, Lebanon’s Interior Minister, Mohammed Fahmi said it appears the explosion was caused by ammonium nitrate which was stored in a warehouse by the port.
Lebanon’s National News Agency also reported on a fire breaking out at what it called an explosives depot at the port, not long before the explosion.
Hospitals are reportedly overwhelmed by casualties. Both the Lebanese Health Minister Hamad Hasan and Lebanese Red Cross mentioned numerous injuries, with scores of people being taken to hospital.
Such was the power of the explosion, people on board an Italian ship docked near the explosion site were wounded. The ship was also destroyed through the explosion.
Health Minister Hasan gave an initial death toll of 27 people, with approximately 2 500 wounded. The death toll is expected to rise.
The horrific incident comes at a difficult time for Lebanon, with the country facing a massive economic crisis.
It also comes amidst rising hostilities between Israel and the militant Hezbollah group along Lebanon’s southern border.
As the matter is being investigated by authorities, the world is closely following and watching the situation unfold.