Massive Explosion Rocks Beirut After Fire At Firecracker Warehouse
Terrifying footage of a ‘firecracker warehouse’ explosion has emerged from Beirut, shattering buildings and offices around the city.
As reported by the state-run National News Agency, the blast earlier today, August 4, came from a firecracker warehouse near the port of the Lebanese capital, with reports of many injured – however, there’s yet to be an official toll.
The explosion was large, and so severe that it affected homes at least 10km away from the port. Videos filmed at the time of the blast, and in the aftermath, show cars that have been flipped and destroyed as a result, as plumes of pink and red smoke rise into the air.
Check out some of the footage from the explosion below:
Rania Masri, a resident of Beirut who was a few kilometres away at the time of the blast, told CNN: ‘What I felt was that it was an earthquake. The apartment shook horizontally and all of a sudden it felt like an explosion and the windows and doors burst open. The glass just broke. So many homes were damaged or destroyed.’
As per Reuters, Lebanon’s Health Minister Hamad Hasan told journalists that the incident has resulted in a ‘very high number of injuries’ and extensive damage in central Beirut.
According to reports to LBC television, dozens of people have been injured and countless have journeyed to hospital. The headquarters of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, CNN’s bureau and the Daily Star’s office are among the locations ripped apart by the explosion.
Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khodr, reporting from the city, said: ‘I was kilometres away; the glass broke everywhere around me. The explosion was felt across the city. There is chaos in the streets.’
Zain Ja’far, Sky News’ Middle East editor, who was also in the city at the time of the blast, said the ‘huge explosion’ made the windows ‘cave in… it tore apart the facade of the building we’re in, and once the dust settled we managed to get ourselves and others in this block outside’.
Windows, doors and glass were shattered across downtown Beirut and there were a lot of very dazed, bloody people walking around, trying to gather their bearings. It was really quite a worrying sight.
The sounds of sirens of the fire brigade, ambulances, the police and also the military has been pretty incessant for the last 45 minutes and a huge number of emergency services and security forces are rushing to that area now.
No exact figures regarding injuries or any deaths have been disclosed at the time of writing.
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