Beirut blast death toll crosses 100, injures more than 4000
Published: 03:36 PM, 5 August 2020 Updated: 03:41 PM, 5 August 2020
The explosion is believed to occur from the warehouse in Beirut; Photo: Collected
The death toll from the blast that rocked the Lebanese capital Beirut earlier on Tuesday has crossed 100. Besides, more than 4,000 people were injured in the incident. The death toll is expected to rise as more people are trapped under the rubble.
Lebanon’s Red Cross confirmed the information in a statement on Wednesday, saying “the Red Cross rescue team were still conducting a search and rescue operation in and around the blast site.”
Meanwhile, in an interview with the country’s local television channel LBCI TV, the head of Lebanon’s Red Cross, George Kittaneh, said that “the Red Cross is identifying bodies in the morgue in coordination with the Lebanese Ministry of Health as there is widespread pressure on hospitals.”
The explosion occurred shortly after 6:00 pm local time on Tuesday in a warehouse near the port of Beirut, according to news agency Reuters, saying that the officials in the country fear that many people are trapped under the rubble of the blast.
It was the largest explosion in Lebanon’s history in recent years as it struggled with the economic crisis and the rise in coronavirus infections.
In a statement, the country’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab said, “2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate had been stored in a port warehouse in Beirut for six years without any security measures – which cannot be accepted in any way.”
An eyewitness to the Beirut blast says it happened shortly after 6 pm. “Suddenly, the sky was filled with pink smoke beside the port of Beirut. The whole city trembled at the devastating sound of dome-like giant smoke coils in the sky,” he also said.
Many thought the earthquake had probably hit. After the explosion, there were numerous glasses lying on the road. Some cars overturned. The plants are burnt. There are bloodstains on the road.
“It was like a battlefield. I am speechless. The blast likely to cost the losses of billions of dollars,” said Beirut mayor Jamal Itani, after inspecting the site of the blast, “It was a disaster for Lebanon and Beirut.”