A massive explosion near the centre of Beirut killed close to 80 people, injuring thousands across the Lebanese capital on Tuesday.
The most powerful explosion to hit Beirut in years occurred in the city’s port area. Lebanon’s interior minister said initial information indicated highly explosive material, which had been seized years ago and stored there, had blown up.
Lebanon’s health minister Hamad Hasan told Reuters late Tuesday that at least 78 people had been killed and nearly 4,000 injured. Hasan said, “There are many people missing… People are asking the emergency department about their loved ones and it is difficult to search at night because there is no electricity. We are facing a real catastrophe and need time to assess the extent of damages.”
Officials expected the death toll to rise further as emergency workers dig through rubble to rescue people and remove the dead.
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