Beirut Explosion: Death toll rises to 78
News Desk || risingbd.com
The death toll of the blast that rocked the Lebanese capital Beirut earlier on Tuesday has jumped to 78 killed and about 4,000 injured.
News reports said earlier that the blast killed the Secretary-General of the Lebanese Phalanges Party Nizar Nigaryan. Investigations are being held to reach the reason behind the massive blast.
At an emergency meeting held by the Lebanse Council of Defense, Prime Minister Hassan Diab said that 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate has been at the port for six years in a warehouse without taking preventive measures, without revealing if the explosive material is the real reason behind the explosion or not.
The council meeting announced a three-day mourning for the loss of the victims, while the Lebanese armed forces assumed the authority to secure all the vital institutions of the state. In addition to this, a fact-finding committee will be formed to investigate the incident,
The capital’s hospitals announced the extreme state of emergency to receive all the wounded by the blast. 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.
The US embassy announced that there are reports “of toxic gases released in the explosion so all in the area should stay indoors and wear masks if available.”