An explosion rocked the Lebanese capital of Beirut on Tuesday, killing at least 70 and injuring over 2,700 others. The cause of the explosion is not yet clear though videos show smoke and fire emanating from the area just prior to the blast. According to Lebanon’s internal security chief, the explosion occurred in an area that houses highly explosive materials, suggesting that the blast was an accident rather than the result of terrorist activity.
The Director of the General Security Directorate has claimed that the blast was caused by confiscated “high explosive materials,” but no further details were given.
— Best Tweet (@BestTweet___) August 4, 2020
Local media showed scenes of people trapped underneath the rubble, and hospitals are reportedly already overwhelmed with those injured by the blast.
Eyewitness Hadi Nasrallah told the BBC, “I saw the fire, but I didn’t yet know there was going to be an explosion. We went inside. Suddenly I lost my hearing because apparently I was too close. I lost my hearing for a few seconds, I knew something was wrong. And then suddenly the glass just shattered all over the car, the cars around us, the shops, the stores, the buildings. Just glass going down from all over the building.”
Another eyewitness, Bachar Ghattas, told CNN, “You can see injured people all over the streets in Beirut, glass all over the place, cars are damaged, it is like an apocalypse. It is very, very frightening what is happening right now, and people are freaking out. The emergency services are overwhelmed. Beirut port is totally destroyed.”