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.
This is a video filmed by someone who was standing on his balcony close to the port of #Beirut.— Jenan Moussa (@jenanmoussa) August 4, 2020
First you see big plumes of smoke followed by small explosions on ground level and finally an enormous explosion.
I hope the person who filmed this is safe. @akhbar pic.twitter.com/SMd94oreYO
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.