Video: Massive explosion kills at least 50, causes widespread damage in Beirut

At least 50 killed in blast, thousands injured

A picture shows the scene of an explosion in Beirut on August 4, 2020. - A large explosion rocked the Lebanese capital Beirut on Tuesday, an AFP correspondent said. The blast, which rattled entire buildings and broke glass, was felt in several parts of the city. Its exact location was unknown.
A picture shows the scene of an explosion in Beirut on August 4, 2020. - A large explosion rocked the Lebanese capital Beirut on Tuesday, an AFP correspondent said. The blast, which rattled entire buildings and broke glass, was felt in several parts of the city. Its exact location was unknown. (Photo by Anwar AMRO / AFP via Getty Images)

BEIRUT – A massive explosion rocked Beirut on Tuesday, flattening much of the port, damaging buildings across the capital and sending a giant mushroom cloud into the sky. At least 50 people were killed and 2,700 injured, with bodies buried in the rubble, officials said.

Hours later, ambulances still carried away the wounded as army helicopters helped battle fires raging at the port.

The sudden devastation overwhelmed a country already struggling with both the coronavirus pandemic and an economic crisis: Beirut hospitals quickly filled beyond capacity, pleading for blood supplies and generators to keep their lights on.

Online videos show a column of smoke rising from the port area from what appeared to be an initial explosion, followed by a massive blast that sent up a mushroom cloud and a shock wave racing over the city.

Some local TV stations reported the blast was at Beirut’s port inside an area where fireworks were stored.