Beirut explosion: thousands injured in Lebanon's capital

On Tuesday, a major explosion occurred in central Beirut, killing dozens, injuring thousands and blowing windows into buildings across the city.

The explosion near the port of Beirut caused a huge mushroom cloud-shaped shockwave, flipping cars and damage to distant buildings. It was felt hundreds of miles away as Cyprus, and recorded as a 3.3 magnitude earthquake in the Lebanese capital.

Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Dib said that 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, a highly explosive material used in fertilizers and bombs, were stored for six years in a port warehouse without safeguards, "threatening the safety of civilians Putting in, "the statement according to a.

The statement said the Prime Minister termed the storage of material "unacceptable" and released the results within five days to investigate the cause of the explosion.

Lebanese general security chief Abbas Ibrahim said that "highly explosive material" was seized years ago and stored in a warehouse just minutes from Beirut's shopping and nightlife districts.

According to the Lebanese state news agency NNA, initial reports showed a large fire explosion in a warehouse for firecrackers near the port.

The deaths from the blast are likely to continue as more bodies have been recovered from the debris. According to Reuters, at least 78 people have died and more than 4,000 have been injured, the country's health minister Hamad Hasan said.

"Many people are still missing," Hasan said. "People are asking the emergency department about their loved ones and it is difficult to find at night because there is no electricity. We are facing a real catastrophe and time is needed to assess the extent of the damage."

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