A massive explosion on the waterfront rocked Lebanon’s capital city of Beirut, wounding many people and causing widespread damage in nearby neighborhoods.
Two major explosions shook the Lebanese capital of Beirut, with eyewitness footage capturing the blasts and showing the devastation wreaked in the surrounding area. The blasts have been blamed on a fireworks accident.
The first blast struck the city’s port shortly after 6pm local time on Tuesday. Within minutes, reports flowed in of another more devastating explosion. Video footage captured the shock wave striking buildings kilometers away, as a massive mushroom cloud of dust and debris was shot into the sky.
Lebanon’s Ministry of Health instructed all available hospitals to prepare to receive the wounded, while the country’s health minister said on TV that there are a “very high” number of injuries.
Health Minister Hamad Hassan told local media that a ship carrying fireworks exploded in the port. Video footage lends weight to his explanation, as it shows a small explosion followed by the crackling of fireworks, before a second and massively destructive blast.
Local residents have shared images showing extensive damage to property. The office of the Daily Star newspaper was smashed by the blast, with windows blown out and furniture flung to the ground. France24 correspondent Leila Molana-Allen said that her apartment was “blown apart,” adding that she thinks the blast was caused by a “missile from a jet.”
Molana-Allen’s neighbors, she added, were left “covered in glass and blood.”