Beirut Explosion: Death toll rises to 78
Published: 09:36 AM, 5 August 2020 Updated: 12:58 PM, 5 August 2020
The death toll has jumped to 78 and about 4,000 injured in the blast that rocked the Lebanese capital Beirut earlier on Tuesday, Lebanese Minister of Health Hamad Hassan told reporters outside a hospital.
The health minister said the condition of many of the injured was critical. Many people are still missing. Many seek help from emergency services to find them. However, the rescue operation became difficult as the power supply was cut off. We will face bigger disasters and it will take more time for us to know the magnitude of the damage.
Lebanon’s state news agency reported that the incident may have been triggered by an explosion at a fireworks warehouse in the port. However, the government has formed an inquiry committee to find out the real reason, which will submit the final report within five days.
The country’s interior minister said the fire initially appeared to have been caused by stored flammable material, which could have been the source of the explosion.
Hundreds of injured have been seen taking treatment across many hospitals in the capital. There was an overflowing crowd in the emergency department. The emergency department of the American University of Beirut Medical Center, one of the city’s main hospitals, had to move to another hospital without finding a place for the injured.
Lebanese Red Cross, health officials, and politicians have called on the people to donate blood to injured people in hospitals.
In various pictures, the injured people were seen walking to the hospital in a bloody state. Many were lying on the street.
Although local authorities have not released the exact number of casualties, emergency workers and politicians have expressed fears that the death toll could rise further.
Meanwhile, Lebanese President Michel Aoun has ordered the army to patrol the affected areas of Beirut. Lebanon’s head of government has declared Wednesday a day of national mourning for the blast.