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'A real horror show': Massive explosion rocks Beirut

Source: ANI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
Last updated on: August 05, 2020 12:39 IST
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At least 100 people were killed and over 2,000 injured following a powerful explosion that ripped through Lebanon's capital Beirut on Tuesday, local media reported.

IMAGE: Smoke rises from the site of an explosion in Beirut's port area, Lebanon. Photograph: Mohamed Azakir/Reuters

The country's health minister Hamad Hassan said that the massive explosion shattered buildings and caused widespread damage.

Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab in a televised address to the county warned that those who were responsible for the devastating catastrophe will be held accountable and not go unpunished.

"What happened today will not fly by without accountability. All those responsible for this catastrophe will pay the price. This is a promise I make to martyrs and injured. This is a national commitment," Diab said.

 

Lebanon's interior minister Mohammed Fahmi was quoted by Al Jazeera saying the explosion was apparently caused by ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse at the port.

National News Agency of Lebanon also reported that a warehouse at the Beirut Port caught fire and lead to major explosions, which reverberated in the capital and the suburbs and left behind great damages to the surrounding buildings and a considerable number of wounded.

IMAGE: A damaged vehicle is seen at the site of an explosion in Beirut. Photograph: Mohamed Azakir/Reuters

Prime Minister Hassan Diab in his address said that currently his government was focussed on handling the disaster and treating the wounded but said facts will soon be put out about the "dangerous warehouse that has been in existence for six years, since 2014."

"We will cooperate at the level of responsibility, and I urge you to unite to heal the nation's wounds," the prime minister said.

IMAGE: A man is evacuated at the site of an explosion in Beirut, Lebanon. Photograph: Mohamed Azakir/Reuters

Indian envoy to Lebanon Suhel Ajaz Khan said,"All our embassy staff are safe. We are in touch with Indian community members, so far there is no report of casualty. We are keeping a close watch and are in touch with community organisations. There is lot of damage to buildings in central Beirut."

The Embassy has also shared its helpline numbers with the Indian community.

WATCH: Massive Beirut blast

Explosions were heard over several kilometres away from the blast, which resulted in a large mushroom-like cloud above the country and blast was even felt as far away in Cyprus, as per reports.

The blast was caught on video by several people and dramatic footage of the explosion was shared on social media, eliciting reactions from users across the world.

IMAGE: An injured man is seen following an explosion in Beirut, Lebanon. Photograph: Mohamed Azakir/Reuters

Among the buildings which suffered damage, including headquarters of Lebanon's prime minister as well as the Baabda Palace, the residence of the president of Lebanon.

IMAGE: People run for cover following the explosion. Photograph: Mohamed Azakir/Reuters

With hundreds of people hospitalised following the massive blast, hospitals in Beirut was suffering from overcrowding, health minister Hassan said.

"Hospitals in Beirut are overcrowded. The injured should be taken to hospitals outside of Beirut," Hassan said, as quoted by the Al Jazeera broadcaster.

Leaders from across the world expressed their condolences over the incident.

IMAGE: Firefighters spray water at a fire after the explosion. Photograph: Mohamed Azakir/Reuters

United States President Donald Trump said that the explosion in Lebanon's capital looks like a "terrible attack."

"Looks like a terrible attack," Trump told reporters at the White House.

IMAGE: A man walks by an overturned car and destroyed buildings in Beirut, Lebanon. Photograph: Marwan Tahtah/Getty Images

"Let me begin by sending America's deepest sympathies to the people of Lebanon, where reports indicate that many, many people were killed, hundreds more were very badly wounded in a large explosion in Beirut," Trump said at a press briefing.

"Our prayers go out to all the victims and their families. The United States ready to assist Lebanon," he said.

IMAGE: Men walk at the site of explosion. Photograph: Mohamed Azakir/Reuters

Trump said the country has a "very good relationship with the people of Lebanon and we will be there to help."

"Shocked and saddened by the large explosion in Beirut city leading to loss of life and property. Our thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families and the injured," tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his condolences to Lebanese President Michel Aoun in connection with the casualties and massive destruction caused by the explosion, the Kremlin said.

IMAGE: eople ride past a car destroyed after a building wall collapsed after a large explosion in Beirut, Lebanon. Video shared on social media showed a structure fire near the port of Beirut followed by a second massive explosion, which damaged surrounding buildings and injured hundreds. Photograph: Daniel Carde/Getty Images

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif stated that his country is fully prepared to render assistance in anyway necessary.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the great and resilient people of Lebanon. As always, Iran is fully prepared to render assistance in any way necessary. Stay strong, Lebanon," Zarif tweeted.

Sputnik reported that according to reports the explosion began as a short bang, five minutes later white and black smoke emerged and then a powerful blast followed, launching a heavy stream of red smoke into the air.

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Source: ANI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
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