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Beirut monster blast leaves over 100 dead

first_imgThe scale of the destruction was such that the Lebanese capital resembled the scene of an earthquake, with thousands of people left homeless and thousands more cramming into overwhelmed hospitals for treatment. BEIRUT – Rescuers searched for survivors in Beirut yesterday after a cataclysmic explosion at the port sowed devastation across entire neighborhoods, killing more than 100 people, wounding thousands and plunging Lebanon deeper into crisis. Many people were watching and filming with their phones after an earlier and smaller explosion was heard in the port and ignited a fire. In the areas closest to the port, the amount of destruction caused by the long years of civil war between 1975 and 1990 was achieved in a second by a blast that leveled buildings within a radius of several hundred meters. The mushroom-shaped explosion – which seismologists said was logged as the equivalent of a 3.3 magnitude quake – and the scope of the damage drew nuclear analogies in many people’s accounts of the tragedy.center_img The blast, which appeared to have been caused by a fire igniting 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate left unsecured in a warehouse, was felt as far away as Cyprus, some 150 miles to the northwest. The resulting footage, which was widely shared on social media, shows a ball of fire and smoke rising above Beirut and a white shockwave engulfing everything around it. The Red Cross said yesterday morning that more than 100 deaths had been confirmed. It also reported around 4,000 injured, prompting fears that the death toll could rise significantly. (AFP)last_img read more

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