Large blast in Beirut leaves dozens dead and thousands injured

A helicopter puts out a fire at the scene of an explosion at the port of Lebanon's capital Beirut on August 4, 2020. Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images

Beirut, Lebanon — The Health Minister says that the large blast on the capital city of Lebanese, Beirut, has killed a minimun of 50 people and has injured over 2,700 people.

The videos shooted by several people showed smoke billowing from a fire, then a mushroom cloud following the blast at the city’s port.

Although the exact reason for the explosion is yet unknown and currently an investigation is under way to find the exact trigger for the explosion, officials are blaming the highly explosive materials stored in a warehouse for six years.

The President of the country Michel Aoun tweeted saying that it was “unacceptable” for 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate to be stored unsafely in the city.

Prime Minister, Hassan Diab called the explosion a catastrophe and said those responsible must be held to account. He also mentioned of a “dangerous warehouse” which had been there since 2014 and said that he would not pre-empt the investigation.

A BBC journalist at the scene reported that enough dead bodies and severe damage has been caused to put the port of Beirut out of action.

Apart from this, the local media has also shown several people trapped beneath rubble. A witness described the first explosion as deafening, and video footage showed wrecked cars and blast-damaged buildings.

“All the buildings around here have collapsed. I’m walking through glass and debris everywhere, in the dark,” one witness near the port told AFP news agency.

The hospitals are said to be overwhelmed with many buildings being destroyed as well.

The blast was so massive that it was heard 240km (150 miles) away on the island of Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean as well.

President Aoun tweeted saying that Wednesday has been declared a day of mourning after an emergency meeting of the Supreme Defence Council.