- A devastating explosion rocked Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, on Tuesday.
- The cause of the blast is being investigated, but a senior Lebanese intelligence official said that he suspects that confiscated high-explosive materials stored at the port where the explosion occurred are to blame.
- The country’s health ministry says that at least 78 people are dead and more than 4,000 people are injured.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
A huge explosion in the Lebanese capital of Beirut Tuesday caused widespread devastation. The number of casualties and the full extent of the damage are still emerging.
Early state media reporting said the blast followed the outbreak of a fire at a fireworks storage facility at the local port, but the director of Lebanese intelligence pointed to highly-explosive materials that had been confiscated and stored in the area.
The exact cause of the terrible blast, which was captured on video, is under investigation.
— Nader Itayim | نادر ایتیّم (@ncitayim) August 4, 2020
The following photos, some of which are GRAPHIC, show the situation on the ground in Beirut.
An orange-red cloud lingered over the blast site shortly after the explosion.
The blast caused widespread destruction well beyond the port where the explosion occurred.
The blast, which was felt miles away, severely damaged buildings, blowing out windows and doors and collapsing ceilings.
A reporter for The Independent who was in the area said the shock wave from the blast “literally pushed us [to] fall to our knees.”
Absolute chaos in #Beirut. Shattered shop fronts, injured people staggering around, alarms going off, ambulances trying to get to hospitals, the floor is glistening with shattered glass. In all my years of covering wars I have never experienced a blast like this. #Lebanon pic.twitter.com/znMLkOAzXB
— Bel Trew (@Beltrew) August 4, 2020
Emergency workers rushed onto the scene to attend to the wounded, as well as to battle fires in the wake of the explosion.
Fires could be seen burning at the port into the evening.
A New York Times reporter shared what she described as “terrifying” footage of the streets of Beirut on social media.
— Farnaz Fassihi (@farnazfassihi) August 4, 2020
Lebanon’s health minister said that at least 78 people were killed in the explosion.
He added that more than 4,000 people have been injured.
Source: The New York Times
Local media reports have said that hospitals have been overwhelmed by the high number of casualties.
The country’s prime minister has declared Wednesday a national day of mourning in response to Tuesday’s tragedy.
US President Donald Trump suggested the explosion may have been an “attack,” angering Lebanese officials who say there is no evidence to support the claim.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.