Hundreds wounded as huge explosion rips through Lebanon’s Beirut
A massive explosion ripped through central Beirut on Tuesday, injuring hundreds of people and blowing out windows in buildings across the city.
The blast near the port in the Lebanese capital sent up a huge mushroom cloud-shaped shockwave, flipping over cars and damaging buildings miles away.
An “uncountable” number of people were wounded by the blast, the state-run National News Agency reported, and footage from the scene captured the injured staggering through streets in the capital. One eyewitness described the scenes as “like an apocalypse.”
There were conflicting reports on what caused the explosion, which was initially blamed on a major fire at a warehouse for firecrackers near the port, according to NNA. The director of the general security directorate later said the blast was caused by confiscated “high explosive materials,” but did not provide further details.
A red cloud hung over the city in the wake of the explosion as firefighting teams rushed to the scene to try to put out the fire. At least 10 firefighters were missing, according to the city’s governor Marwan Abboud, who said the scene reminded him of “Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”
“In my life I haven’t seen destruction on this scale,” Abboud said. “This is a national catastrophe.”