A powerful blast rocked buildings in the port area of the Lebanese capital, Beirut, sending black and gray smoke billowing, killing more than 25 people and injuring more than 2,500.
According to Reuters, Lebanese officials said the blast took place in the port area, where explosives are stored in several warehouses.
The death toll is expected to rise further, he said, adding that volunteers were carrying out relief work and transporting the victims to hospitals.
Lebanese Health Minister Hamad Hassan said the blast injured a large number of civilians and caused extraordinary damage.
The head of the Lebanese Red Crescent said hundreds of wounded had been taken to hospital while a large number of people were buried under rubble.
George Katna told local media that the number of injured was not final as people were buried in the rubble of buildings that collapsed after the blast, while people were being rescued by boats.
The Lebanese broadcaster LBCI quoted Hotel Dave Hospital in Beirut as saying that more than 500 wounded were being treated and there was no room for more.
The hospital administration appealed for blood donations, saying dozens of people needed surgery.
“I saw a ball of fire and smoke spreading in Beirut, people were screaming and bleeding,” said an eyewitness.
“The balconies of the buildings blew up and the windows of the tall buildings shattered and shattered in the streets,” he said.
Another eyewitness said he saw gray smoke rising into the sky, followed by an explosion and flames.
He said that buildings in nearby areas were damaged and many people on the streets were injured and there was chaos in the city.
Initial reports said the blast in the port area was heard in a large part of the city and power was cut off in some districts.
This video of a father in Lebanon Beirut trying to comfort and protect his son from the blast in #Beirut moved me to tears He held his son so tightly while praising God. I am very teary. The child was calm because he trusts his loving father so much.
May God have mercy upon us pic.twitter.com/EbTdEiHg0q
— Liberated Ugandan (@ShafiqNgeywa) August 4, 2020
— Eddie Donovan (@EddieDonovan) August 4, 2020
Unfathomable level of destruction in #Beirut. The city has overcome war, invasions, earthquakes and today’s explosion is within than magnitude.
More than 50 dead, 3000 injured. A humanitarian, political, environmental tragedy unfolding as we speak: pic.twitter.com/EwNZxrunCA
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) August 4, 2020