Beirut, 4 August 2020 (dpa/MIA) – Hundreds of people have suffered injuries after a powerful blast of unknown origins at Beirut’s port, reported Lebanon’s Red Cross on Tuesday.
The secretary general of of the Red Cross, George Kettaneh, told dpa: “I can say there are hundreds wounded but no clear number now.”
The huge explosion echoed throughout the city, causing panic across the Lebanese capital.
Windows were shattered across the city and at its outskirts. Black smoke billowed over Beirut’s port. At least some of the wounded are buried under rubble.
The Red Cross said that more than 30 teams are responding to the explosion.
Witnesses in the area said there are dead bodies on the street, but no official number was given yet
Initial reports said the blast was inside a fireworks depot at the port.
Damage was reported in houses in central Beirut. Additionally, the main highway near Beirut port is covered with pieces of glass.
Former prime minister Saad Hariri’s house in the city centre also suffered damage, which extended to the Lebanese governmental palace in central Beirut.
Lebanon’s army was helping in transferring the wounded to nearby hospitals.
Shortly after the explosion, telephone and internet services went down in Beirut.
Residents in the Kartina area, a few metres from the location of the blast, told dpa that they heard two explosions, the second one was the bigger.
“There is damage that extended 7 kilometres away from the site,” a police officer at the scene said.
“We were sitting in our living room and suddenly the wall and glass fell on our heads,” another man, identified as Roumi, 44, told dpa.
There were tragic scenes in hospitals, amid calls for blood donations. People covered with blood could be seen standing at the doors of the hospitals.