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Beirut Explosion Leaves Scores of Casualties, Entirely Damaged City
By Staff, Agencies
A massive explosion rocked the Lebanese capital city of Beirut, leaving a very high number of casualties and injuries as well as terrible damage to almost the entire city.
A warehouse at the Beirut Port caught fire on Tuesday afternoon, triggering a huge explosion, Lebanon’s official National News Agency [NNA] reported.
Several smaller explosions were heard before the bigger one occurred.
Commenting on the tragedy, Head of Lebanon’s General Security Major General Abbas Ibrahim said “highly explosive materials” confiscated earlier had been stored at the site.
Footage shared on social media captured the moment of the bigger explosion, with a colossal shock wave seen traveling fast across several hundreds of meters and shrouding the area in thick smoke.
The blast left enormous material damage to the surrounding buildings and structures. But it was not immediately known how big an area was affected.
There was also no immediate casualty count. Graphic amateur video from the scene showed bodies strewn on the ground, with their clothes blown off.
The NNA said rescue operations were underway. Ambulances were seen heading toward the scene in central Beirut.
Relatively, Lebanese Health Minister Hamad Hassan said the blast had caused a “very high number of injuries” and “extensive damage.”
Beirut Governor Marwan Abboud said an unspecified number of firefighters dispatched to extinguish the initial fire were killed in the explosion.
“As they were putting out the fire, the explosion took place and we’ve [lost them],” he said, breaking down on live TV.
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