Beirut explosion: Huge blast rocks port and downtown areas

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Video and images shared on social media appeared to show the aftermath of a large explosion in the port area

Aug 4, 2020

August 4, 2020

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A massive explosion has rocked the Lebanese capital of Beirut.

The afternoon blast shook several parts of the capital and thick smoke billowed from the city centre.

Lebanon's Health Minister Hamad Hasan said the blast had caused a "very high number of injuries" and extensive damage, Lebanese LBC television channel quoted the minister as saying.

Residents reported windows being blown out and false ceilings dropping.

Video purporting to be of the incident showed a smaller explosion, which then sent off another, larger explosion of a building.

The cause of the explosion is not yet known.

Some local TV stations reported the blast was at Beirut's port inside an area where firecrackers were stored.

Glass covered the floor in the area surrounding the explosion site and sirens wailed as emergency services rushed to the scene.

Journalists from Lebanon's Daily Star newspaper shared photographs of their destroyed office in the downtown area of the city after the explosion.

"All the buildings in my block are destroyed. Huge explosion in Beirut. Everyone covered in glass and blood," wrote France 24 Correspondent Leila Molana-Allen.

Some on Twitter said they had heard the explosion, for which there is no confirmed cause, from miles away, with one man commenting he felt his building shake from eight kilometres away. They shared photographs of pink-coloured smoke billowing into the sky.

Another video taken from the sea showed a huge mushrooming multicoloured smoke cloud as a shockwave ran through the water towards the camera.

More to follow.

Updated: August 4, 2020 08:15 PM

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