Beirut: – 78 people died, and a minimum of 4,000 were injured in the deadly explosion that rocked the Lebanese capital of Beirut. The Lebanese government informed that the blast was caused because of Ammonium Nitrate, which was stored in one of the warehouses in the Beirut port. At the same time, an emergency has been declared in Beirut for the next two weeks. Meanwhile, keeping in view the possibility of poisonous gases being released in the atmosphere due to the explosion involving Ammonium Nitrate, the United States has advised its citizens and embassy staff in Beirut to stay indoors and wear masks if possible.
There were two successive blasts in the Beirut port on Tuesday. The Lebanese medical and local agencies are predicting massive casualties, looking at the intensity of the explosions. 78 bodies were recovered till Tuesday night. There is a possibility of many people being trapped under the debris in the port area. A minimum of 4,000 people have been injured, and out of these, 60 are said to be in a critical condition. As per received information, many including firefighters are missing.
It is reported that a ship of the United Nations, Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), was damaged in the explosion and a few of the soldiers also were injured. Three hospitals have suffered considerable damages in this explosion. Dr Myrna Doumit, Chief of the Order of Nurses, clarified that due to the damages caused in the hospitals, it is becoming challenging to manage the in-patients and the people injured in the blast.
At the outset, the Beirut blast was being looked at with suspicion. A possibility of an Israeli attack, against the background of the tensions between Israel and Hezbollah, was being predicted. The verdict in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafic Hariri is expected to be delivered on coming Friday. Therefore it was also being said that Hezbollah orchestrated this explosion to influence the verdict. But the Israeli military and Hezbollah have both denied any links to the explosion.
Prime Minister Hassan Diab informed that the explosion was caused by the unsecured stock of 2,750 kilograms of Ammonium Nitrate in one of the warehouses. At the same time, the Lebanese government has ordered an action within the next five days against those responsible for storing this material used in agriculture as well as explosives in such a huge quantity. The government has advised the military to take control over Beirut for the next few days.
The explosion caused an earthquake, measuring 3.3 in the Richter Scale, in the city of Beirut. The vibrations of the blast were felt in the European country of Cyprus, 180 kilometres from the blast site. There were mushroom-shaped clouds formed over the port area following the blast. The locals said that the situation was similar to the nuclear holocaust in the Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the second world war.
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump has said in his reaction to the blast that this blast was something similar to a bomb attack. Whereas, all the countries in the world have announced aid for Lebanon following the blast. The United Kingdom, Germany, Malaysia, Turkey and even Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu has announced that they will be sending units for rescue operations to the neighbouring country. At the same time, Israel has expressed willingness to treat the blast victims in its hospitals.