At least 220 people have been killed in a bomb blast in Beirut, Lebanon. More than three thousand people were injured in the incident.
Rescuers are still searching the wreckage, reports Associated Press. The death toll is expected to rise further.
The entire capital city was shaken by the horrific explosion in the port area on Tuesday.
As can be seen in various videos spread on the internet, smoke coils were initially seen in the port area of Beirut. In a short time, it turned into smoke in the form of a huge dome and exploded. Cars and buildings were seen blowing up in the blast.
Lebanon is observing three days of national mourning from today over the massive casualties in the blast.
An explosion at a fireworks warehouse in the port is thought to have triggered an explosion.
Top officials in the country said on Tuesday that an investigation had already begun into the exact cause of the blast.
Lebanon’s Supreme Defense Council says those responsible for the blasts will receive the maximum punishment.
“For six years, 2,650 tonnes of ammonium nitrate had been stored” unsafely “in a warehouse there,” said Michel Aoun, president of Lebanon.
President Michelle called an emergency cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
He also said a state of emergency would be declared in the country in the next two weeks.
President Michel added that his government would set up an emergency fund of 7 million to deal with the disaster.
The huge amount of ammonium nitrate was unloaded from a ship in 2013 during a raid at the port.
It is learned that these were stored in the warehouse there.
“What we are seeing is a huge disaster,” Lebanese Red Cross chief George Ketani told local media. There have been casualties and casualties everywhere. ‘
The epicenter was reported below the ground, however; no tsunami alert was issued.
An eyewitness near the port told AFP News: “All the buildings in the vicinity have collapsed. As I walked in the dark, I saw glass and debris everywhere. ‘
Beirut Governor Marwan Abboud said at least 10 municipal firefighters were missing. “It’s very similar to what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan,” he said. The explosion reminded me of that incident. I have never seen such devastation in my life. ‘
The coronavirus epidemic has plunged the country into economic crisis, sparking political unrest. The explosion occurred in such a situation.
Meanwhile, hospitals in Beirut are struggling to care for those injured in the blast. The American University of Beirut Medical Center, one of the largest hospitals, is no longer able to accommodate patients.