A massive explosion, or series of explosions, has rocked the port of Beirut, causing widespread destruction and generating an enormous shock wave and dust cloud.
The cause of the explosion is unclear. Some accounts attribute it to an explosion at a fireworks factory, while others speculate it is a Hezbollah weapons depot. Israeli and Hezbollah sources, speaking to media, deny it was an Israeli attack.
The Jerusalem Post reports:
The source of the explosion was unclear. LBCI Lebanon News claimed that a fire had broken out at the port and then triggered an explosion of a nearby warehouse storing fireworks. According to the Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Mayadeen news, the explosion occurred in a warehouse storing benzine, a flammable chemical.
Sources from Hezbollah told OTV Lebanon that there was “no truth” to reports that the explosion was caused by an Israeli strike on Hezbollah weapons at the port. Israeli defense officials denied that Israel had any connection to the incident. Hezbollah operatives were seen at the port after the explosion, according to Al-Arabiya. Fighter jets were spotted over Tel Aviv after the explosion, according to Channel 12 news.
Lebanon’s General Security director told Al-Hadath that reports that the explosion was caused by fireworks were “ridiculous” and that the explosion involved high-quality explosives.
WE WILL CONTINUE TO UPDATE AS MORE BECOMES KNOWN
Lebanese prime minister says in statement that today's massive explosion in #Beirut was caused by 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate which were left unsecured at the port since 2013.
If true, that is unbelievable negligence that has led to incredible suffering.
— Raf Sanchez (@rafsanchez) August 4, 2020
I honestly can’t even wrap my head around this:
the Oklahoma City bombers used approximately 2 Tons and destroyed 1 building, shattered another 286
— Ayman Mohyeldin (@AymanM) August 4, 2020
Stunning video shows explosions just minutes ago at Beirut port pic.twitter.com/ZjltF0VcTr
— Borzou Daragahi ?? (@borzou) August 4, 2020
— Beastbahi (@beastbahi) August 4, 2020
Absolute chaos in #Beirut. Shattered shop fronts, injured people staggering around, alarms going off, ambulances trying to get to hospitals, the floor is glistening with shattered glass. In all my years of covering wars I have never experienced a blast like this. #Lebanon pic.twitter.com/znMLkOAzXB
— Bel Trew (@Beltrew) August 4, 2020
CCTV footage of an office in Beirut at the time of the explosion/bomb pic.twitter.com/t5NTPrr0S0
— H ?? (@haydarCFC) August 4, 2020
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