A man is evacuated at the site of an explosion in Beirut, Lebanon August 4, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir
CAIRO – 4 August 2020: The large blast that rocked Tuesday the Port area of the Lebanese capital Beirut has killed the Secretary-General of the Lebanese Phalanges Party Nizar Nigaryan and other 30 citizens, according to the Lebanese Health Ministry.
The capital’s hospitals announced the extreme state of emergency to receive all the wounded by the blast, estimated at 3000 wounded. Lebanon’s state news agency NNA and two security sources said the blast had occurred in the port area where there are warehouses housing explosives.
It was not immediately clear what caused the blast or what kind of explosives were in the warehouses. “I saw a fireball and smoke billowing over Beirut. People were screaming and running, bleeding. Balconies were blown off buildings.
Glass in high-rise buildings shattered and fell to the street,” said a Reuters witness. Local broadcaster LBC quoted the health minister as saying there was a “very high number” of injures and a large amount of damage.
Al Mayadeen television said hundreds were wounded. Another Reuters witness said she saw heavy grey smoke near the port area and then heard an explosion and saw flames of fire and black smoke: “All the downtown area windows are smashed and there are wounded people walking around. It is total chaos.”