Beirut, MINA – Two devastating explosions rocked the port of Beirut on Tuesday night (4/8), killing at least 78 people and injuring thousands of others.
The big explosion rocked buildings far away and brought the Lebanese capital into fear and chaos, Nahar Net reported.
A deafening second explosion sent a large orange fireball into the sky, flattened the harbor and sent shock waves like tornadoes that rocked the city, smashing windows many kilometers away.
The bloodied victim lay between rubble and burning buildings throughout central Beirut, when Health Minister Hamad Hassan reported an initial estimate of 78 deaths and 4,000 injured.
Relatives of people who work inside the blast zone gather in the ranks of the security forces as they scramble to find news about their loved ones.
“Ambulances still lift the dead,” a soldier said.
Explosions were heard as far away as Nicosia on the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, 240 kilometers (150 miles) away.
Makrouhie Yerganian, a retired school teacher in her 70s who has lived near the port for decades, said it was “like an atomic bomb”.
“I’ve experienced everything, but it’s never been like this before,” even during the 1975-1990 civil war in the country,” he said.
“All buildings around here have collapsed,” he added.
The country’s Red Cross reported “hundreds of people injured” and called for urgent blood donations.
The cause of the explosion was not immediately known, but a high-ranking official, Security Chief General Abbas Ibrahim, said the seized explosives had been stored in the city port. (T/R7/P2)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)