A massive mushroom cloud formed after a deafening blast flattened Beirut’s port and blew out windows of apartment buildings miles away. Tonight, residents in Lebanon’s capital dig through carnage and debris.
Reports confirmed 73 people dead and 3,000 injured in a two-explosion detonation in Beirut. The blast occurred just after 6 p.m. local time. So powerful was the explosion, it was heard 150 miles from the detonation site. In the shockwave that rocked the area, the force of the detonation barreled through streets and demolished concrete buildings.
Captured in a number of video footage, the blasts created a white mushroom cloud followed by red billowing smoke. Officials said the explosion took place at an ammunition warehouse with substances that had been illegally stored since 2014. Also, the chemical was previously confiscated.
“I promise you that this catastrophe will not pass without accountability,” said Prime Minister Hassan Diab in a televised speech to the nation.
Lebanon’s interior minister, Mohammed Fahmi, said the explosive materials were caused by 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored in the port side warehouse, reports Al Jazeera. Now, hospitals are overwhelmed and residents sickened by fumes from the blast. Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, and France are a handful of a number of countries that sent aid and emergency respondents for recovery efforts.
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