This cataclysmic event was preceded by a large fire in the port of Beirut on the northern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. In the video, you could see white smoke rising from Warehouse 12 right next to the huge grain silos in the harbor area.
"Shortly after 6 p.m. (3 p.m. GMT) the roof of the warehouse caught fire and an initial large explosion followed, followed by a series of smaller detonations that some witnesses thought sounded like fireworks blasts." qouted bbc news
Sources claimed 135 people were killed and thousands injured in a massive explosion in the Lebanese capital Beirut on Tuesday evening.The explosion was related to a large number of confiscated and possibly unstable explosives stored in warehouses in densely populated areas near city ports. As world leaders and international organizations are steppping in to provide assistance, local officials are still investigating the explosion.
Authorities scrambled to deal with the injured-on Wednesday, searching for survivors, and assess the full extent of the damage.
Dozens of people are missing, and relatives are taking the help of social media for help finding their loved ones. An Instagram page titled "Finding Victims in Beirut" is full of photos of missing persons, and the broadcast host reads the names of the missing or injured all night. After hospital were overwhelmed with injured patients, many residents turned to relatives or friends after the apartment was damaged for help.
Residents of Beirut woke up on Wednesday and suffered tremendous damage. Just as explosion occured, a shock wave broke out in the Lebanese capital. Which is responsible the most of the damages to the city.
Heavy smoke could be seen coming out for hours, and the empty silos there are filled with piles of grain. Debris and damaged vehicles were scattered on the main streets of the city, and the outer walls of houses were blown up.
An official of the Lebanese Red Cross said at least 100 people were killed and more than 4,000 injured. The official, George Kettaneh, said the number of casualties may rise further.
This is the most powerful explosion in the city’s history. Previous damages to the city of such magnitude took place on the front lines of the civil war in 1975-1990 and suffered conflicts with neighbouring Israel and regular bombing and terrorist attacks.
Lebanon has been on the brink of collapse in the severe economic crisis that has triggered serious protests in recent months. Its hospitals are facing a surge in coronavirus cases, and there is concern that the virus may spread further as people flood into the hospital.
It is not clear what caused the explosion as the real reason behind Beirut’s explosion remain unknown. While, US President Donald Trump screamed that it was probably an “attack” and “a kind of bomb”.
The explosion appears to be triggered by a fire and hit by an earthquake.
Lebanese officials have no indication that the explosion was caused deliberately. But Trump quoted an unnamed American general as saying that "looks like a terrible attack." Interestingly, a Pentagon spokesperson said "we have no help with this."
Conspiracy theories for patrolling on the Internet include saying that the bombing was a planned operation by the Israel Defense Forces. Israel firmly denies any involvement. Hezbollah militants supported by the Lebanese government and Iran are Israel’s main enemies.The white mushroom cloud seen in the shock wave of the explosion led some to speculate that it was a nuclear explosion.
The viral video of blast shows that fireballs rise from the rows of huge storage bins, and then the billowing white clouds tower into the clouds, and powerful shock waves swept the city.
Seismologists regarded this event as an event equivalent to a magnitude 3.3 earthquake. Prime Minister Hassan Diab said that 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate (an agricultural fertilizer that is also used in bombs) stored in port warehouses was destroyed, causing "disasters in various senses."
Ammonium nitrate is an odourless crystalline substance that has been the cause of many industrial explosions for decades. When combined with fuel oil, it produces a powerful explosive that is widely used in the construction industry. But crucially, terrorist organizations such as the Taliban also use ammonium nitrate.
Volatile substances were confiscated a few years ago and stored in warehouses at the port. The British "Daily Telegraph" reported that Igor Grechuskinov, the owner of the Russian Rose House ship, abandoned the deadly cargo from Georgia to Mozambique and declared bankruptcy during an unplanned stop. Ship the materials to the port of Beirut.
The blast wave flattened buildings near the port and caused extensive damage to the rest of the capital (home to 2 million people). The hospital was quickly overwhelmed.
The head of the Lebanese Red Cross, George Keitani, said: "What we have witnessed is a huge disaster." "There are victims and casualties everywhere."
Beirut Governor Marwan Abboud stated that as many as 300,000 people are temporarily homeless, and collective losses may reach US$1 to 1.5 billion (£800 million to £1.1 billion).
The explosion destroyed the adjacent dock area and formed a volcanic crater about 140 meters wide. The sea was flooded by sea water.The warehouse where the initial fire and explosion was observed was completely closed, and the adjacent granary was severely damaged.
Satellite images highlighted the complete destruction of the port area, with one of the ships apparently being blown out of the water and rushing towards the dock.The shock wave of the explosion blew up the windows of the passenger terminal of Beirut International Airport, about 9 kilometers (5 miles) from the port.
An explosion was also heard in the Mediterranean Sea, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) from Cyprus. Seismologists from the U.S. Geological Survey said it was equivalent to a magnitude 3.3 earthquake.
Among the 137 people who died was Jean-Marc Bonfils, a French architect born in Beirut. Mr. Bonfils, who was involved in the restoration of buildings destroyed in the city during the Civil War, broadcast a live video of the incident on Facebook after the first explosion, but was injured in the second and later died. French Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot said France and Lebanon joined the grief after his death.