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Beirut Explosion: At least 78 killed, nearly 4,000 people injured in massive blast at city’s industrial port

 Lebanon’s health ministry says the death toll from the Beirut explosion has risen to at least 78.

Nearly 4,000 people were injured in the massive blasts in Lebanon’s capital city on Tuesday. 

About 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate was being stored near the blast site without safety measures, the PM said, calling it “unacceptable.”

Prime Minister Hassan Diab in a televised address vowed that ‘those responsible for this catastrophe will pay the price,’ and declared Wednesday a day of national mourning.

The world saw the extraordinary images emerging from the site of blast over the internet, as the massive blast occurred around 6 pm local time at the city’s industrial port.

According to the country’s health minister, more than 3,700 have been wounded following the blast at the city’s industrial port, where hazardous chemicals are stored in warehouses.

According to Lebanon’s interior minister, ammonium nitrate had been stored in the unit since 2014.

After looking at the aftermath, experts reportedly agree that the chemical would cause the red plume of smoke which bursts up from the blast.

As per local media reports 2,700 tonnes of the chemical exploded, causing a ‘strange smell’ at the port which has led officials to instruct civilians to leave for fear of any harmful toxins.

The extraordinary footage from the site shows smoke billowing from the harbour area shortly before an enormous fireball explodes into the sky and covers the city in a thick mushroom cloud.

The blast was heard 125 miles away in Cyprus as well, and was initially likened to a ‘nuclear bomb’.

The aftermath of the blast is beyond explanation. The Governor of Beruit city Marwan Abboud was left in tears while talking to the media as he explained about the calamity and compared it to Hiroshima and Nagasaki atom bomb attacks.

Ironically, the Beirut massive blasts occurred a day ahead of the 75th remembrance of Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic attacks. 

In the latest development, Syrian President Assad orders all borders and ports in the country open to Lebanon orders caravans of ambulances to head to Beirut and ferry injured to hospitals in Damascus and launches an air bridge of medical and food supplies between the two cities.

Saman Siddiqui

Saman Siddiqui, A freelance journalist with a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication and MS in Peace and Conflict Studies. Associated with the media industry since 2006. Experience in various capacities including Program Host, Researcher, News Producer, Documentary Making, Voice Over, Content Writing Copy Editing, and Blogging, and currently associated with OyeYeah since 2018, working as an Editor.

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