There was a massive explosion that ripped through the central part of Beirut, Lebanon on Tuesday. It injured hundreds of people and blew out buildings across the city. The blast happened near the port in the Lebanese capital.
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According to the images and videos shared, the explosion looked like a mushroom-shaped cloud that led to shockwave and tremors. It flipped over cars and damaged building miles away.
A countable number of people have been wounded in the blast as per the National News Channel run by the state. There are footages that surfaced online to explain the severity of the case. The blast exploded across streets and an eye-witness said that it looked like the apocalypse.
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How did the explosion happen?
Right now, there are conflicting reports on what caused the explosion. It was initially blamed on the fire outbreak in a warehouse of firecrackers located near the port. The director of the general security directorate reported later that the blast happened due to explosive materials. However, there are no further details on this as of now.
The city saw a red cloud hungover as the explosion blasted. The firefighting teams rushed to the scene to stop the spread of fire. At least 10 firefighters went missing as per the governor Marwan Abboud’s report. He said that the scene reminded him of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki massacre. He said that he hasn’t seen such destruction in his life. It is a national catastrophe he said.
The situation of hospitals across Beirut
The hospitals in Beirut are currently experiencing chaotic scenes. There are dozens of wounded people being admitted and there is an immediate need of experts and caregivers. According to reports, some people have broken their limbs, while others have been pricked by shards of glass. Some people were brought to the hospital unconscious. The number of casualties is still uncertain. Hotel Dieu, one of the best hospitals in Beirut reported over 400 injured people.
The blast damaged several buildings and office complexes in Lebanon – it includes the official residence of the President and headquarters of former PM Saad Hariri. Homes to around 10 km from the explosion have been damaged due to the Beirut blast.
A resident who was away from the site said that her windows were shattered due to the explosion. She felt like it was an earthquake. Her apartment shook horizontally and then she felt the explosion as the doors and windows blasted. She said only her glass broke but so many homes have been destroyed.
Another eyewitness, Bachar Ghattas, described the chaotic scenes she experienced. The person said that there were injured people across the streets and there was glass all over the places. Cars were damaged and so were homes. The person said that the experience was frightening but was overwhelmed with the emergency services. Lastly, the witness said that the Beirut port is completely destroyed.
Trying times for Lebanon
The blast has brought in a time of worry for Lebanon. On the coming Friday, the panel backed by the UN was expected to issue a verdict on the Rafik Hariri assassination case that has been pending since 2005. Many people fear that the move might strike sectarian tensions. Moreover, the country is facing an economic meltdown and is up by a 50% unemployment rate. The currency is dropping and the poverty rate is soaring up for half of the population.