A large explosion shook Lebanon’s capital of Beirut on Tuesday, with thick smoke seen billowing from a mushroom cloud in the city centre.
The blast destroyed one building entirely, and blew out the glass on apartment blocks, local media reports.
Local news stations have said the blast was at Beirut’s port, although this has not been officially confirmed, with conflicting reports claiming the incident occurred at a fireworks warehouse.
In dramatic footage of the explosion, survivors can be seen walking through the streets, bypassing cars and lorries with shattered windows.
People have been pictured injured and crying in the aftermath, with one man seen walking through the streets with blood pouring from his face.
A security source reportedly told Al Jazeera the blast was the result of an “error involving fireworks, and not an attack.”
Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khodr told the news agency: “The force of the blast was massive.
“There’s panic in the streets, glass everywhere.”
Joyce Cameron, from the National, tweeted: “Moment that the second explosion hit #Beirut Lebanon.
“Many houses damaged, injuries reported. First was at Port. This is closer to downtown
“Two explosions near port in Beirut #Lebanon, second one left lot of damages in houses and cars. Ambulances called to area.”
Lebanese media claim the explosion occurred in a fireworks warehouse, with two explosions reported shortly after each other.
The second explosion is said to have caused the most damage, with an entire building destroyed and the shock felt throughout the city.
Security sources said a number of people have been injured during the blast, and a video circulating on Twitter suggests at least three people died in the blast.
Fire trucks are en route to the scene and said there were a “considerable number of wounded” people with evacuation operations underway.
A video filmed moments before the building exploded appears to show fireworks flickering inside and a loud crackling sound.
People nearby can be heard screaming in the picture before smoke billows over the wall and a loud bang is heard as the person filming runs away from the blast.
In another video, ash can be seen covering the floor as people who appear to be lifeless lay on the ground.
Source Daily Star – World News