AMN quoted the statement of Lebanon’s Health Minister Hamad Hassan said that according to the initial statistics, the number of deaths was 78 and nearly 4,000 were injured.
Immediately after the small explosion a huge explosion formed an orange fireball and a giant mushroom-shaped smoke cloud in the sky, followed by a shockwave like a tornado, flattening the harbor and sweeping the city. , sending broken glass doors away for kilometers.
Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab declared: “What happened today will not pass without anyone being responsible. The person who causes this disaster will pay the price”.
|The scene of horror from the explosion.|
Meanwhile, Lebanon National Security Director Abbas Ibrahim said powerful explosives were confiscated years ago and stored in storage, just a few minutes’ walk from Beirut’s shopping district.
“It’s like an atomic bomb. I’ve been through everything, but nothing like this, even in the 1975-1990 civil war of the country. All the buildings around here have collapsed.” Describes Makrouhie Yerganian, a retired teacher who lives near the port.
According to Lebanon’s AMN news agency, about 9 km from the scene of the explosion also suffered damage. Hospitals were already overcrowded because Covid-19 was now overrun with wounded people. The Lebanese Red Cross are calling for an urgent blood donation.
After studying video and explosion scenes, Jeffrey Lewis, arms control specialist at Middlebury Institute for International Studies in the US, said that the destructive power of the explosion in Beirut was equal to 240 tons of TNT explosives. soil 4.5 degrees.
“Based on video damage images, it can be estimated that the blast caused a pressure of about 3 psi (20,684 pascals) at a distance of 620 meters, suggesting it has a destructive power equivalent to 240 tons of TNT.
These numbers are only estimates and may change when more standard data are available, but still show the level of destruction, “said expert Jeffrey Lewis.
Although the authorities have not had the final conclusion about the explosion, according to some experts, there are 3 hypotheses about the cause of the explosion. Lebanese media said that the explosion stemmed from the fire of a firecracker warehouse near the port.
But then, the head of the Lebanese Security Administration said that the explosion was caused by destructive explosives that were confiscated many years ago, but he did not provide details.
Local officials believe large amounts of ammonium nitrate seized aboard a ship in 2013 or 2014 could have been the cause of the deadly explosion.
Immediately after the explosion, US President Donald Trump offered condolences and offers to support the Lebanese people. He considered the explosion a “terrible attack”.
When asked if he was confident it was an attack, President Trump said it “appeared to be,” based on what US military officials told him. “One like a bomb,” he said.
Israel has denied involvement in the blast and offered Lebanon medical aid. This is a notable move as Israel still sees Beirut as an enemy country. The two countries have not had diplomatic relations since the 1949 ceasefire agreement was signed.
France, Great Britain, Iran, Turkey, Qatar, Spain, Jordan … offered to help Lebanon. French President Emmanuel Macron says “rescue and relief teams” are on their way to Lebanon.
Some pictures from the scene of the explosion
The clip is equivalent to 240 tons of TNT explosives in the Lebanese capital