Shocking Aerial Photo Shows Devastating Scale Of Beirut Explosion

by : Lucy Connolly on : 05 Aug 2020 15:30
Shocking Aerial Photo Shows Devastating Scale Of Beirut ExplosionPA Images/Getty

A single aerial photo has revealed the devastating scale of the Beirut explosion that left thousands injured and at least 100 people dead.

The explosion, which tore through the port in Beirut, Lebanon, yesterday, August 4, is believed to have been caused when more than 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate – the ingredient used in fertiliser bombs – exploded after a fire was sparked by a welder.


The ammonium nitrate had been stored in a warehouse without the necessary safety measures for six years, according to officials, with Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab saying those responsible would ‘pay the price’.

Lebanon Explosion BeirutPA Images

As rescue teams searched through the rubble, photos taken from above showed the true devastation at the scene, with a massive crater surrounded by a void where buildings once stood.

Rescuers worked throughout the night and into Wednesday morning scouring the area for survivors after the explosion, which has wrecked entire neighbourhoods in the Lebanese capital and left around 300,000 people homeless.


The scale of the destruction was so large that the city resembled the aftermath of an earthquake, with flattened buildings and plumes of smoke rising from fires still burning this morning.

Lebanon Explosion BeirutGetty

Hospitals that had themselves been damaged struggled to cope with the strain of more than 4,000 casualties, with medics working in impossible conditions after the electricity was knocked out in the explosion.

Residents in the city have since been warned about reports of toxic gases released by the blast, with people being urged to stay indoors and wear masks if available.


Horrifying footage shared online showed the moment of the explosion, with thick smoke billowing out of the building and engulfing the streets as emergency services desperately tried to find survivors in the devastation.

You can see some of those clips below:


Beirut’s governor, Marwan Abboud, broke down in tears as he walked through the site of the explosion. ‘Beirut is a devastated city,’ he said, as per MailOnline. The true cost of the explosion could hit £5 billion, according to Abboud, a devastating and impossible-sounding figure for a city already in the midst of an economic crisis.

‘We already had the economic crisis, a government of thieves and coronavirus,’ said Rami Rifai, a 38-year-old engineer, speaking from a hospital where his two daughters were receiving treatment after sustaining minor injuries.


‘I didn’t think it could get worse but now I don’t know if this country can get up again,’ the dad continued. ‘Everyone is going to try to leave. I will try to leave. We’ve had some dark days in Lebanon over the years but this is something else.’

Lebanon is already experiencing its worst economic crisis in decades, and now it must deal with the devastation caused by the catastrophic explosion.

If you want to help those affected by recent events in Beirut, you can donate to the Red Cross in Lebanon here, or visit Impact Lebanon here.

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.

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Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: News, Beirut, Death, Explosion, Lebanon, Now, World News


  1. MailOnline

    Inside Beirut's ground zero: Astonishing images reveal the scale of devastation in Lebanese capital after mega-explosion ripped through city and left 300,000 homeless