Huge explosion beirut: Dozens dead, thousands injured in massive explosion.
A huge explosion in a port warehouse district near the center of Beirut killed dozens, injured over 2,500 others and sent shockwaves across the Lebanese capital on Tuesday, shattering windows and causing apartment balconies to collapse.
“Following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s approval of humanitarian and medical assistance to Lebanon, the prime minister instructed the head of the National Security Council Meir Ben-Shabbat to talk to the UN envoy Nickolay Mladenov to find out what else Israel can do to help Lebanon,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office wrote in a statement.
Following the explosion, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi conveyed via diplomatic and security channels Israel’s offer to provide humanitarian relief and medical support to the Lebanese people. Israeli defense officials denied that Israel was connected to the explosion, which came as the IDF was on high alert along the northern border in anticipation of a Hezbollah attack.
Additionally, Ziv Medical Center announced that it is “experienced and prepared” to assist in any way possible.
Multiple videos from the area showed a plume of smoke rising near the coastline and then a large blast and shockwave. Buildings throughout the area were damaged in the blast, including media offices and Lebanon’s electrical company.
Video and pictures from the scene showed windows blown out and debris strewn in buildings and streets throughout Lebanon’s capital. Some buildings in the area collapsed and emergency forces rushed to rescue those trapped in the rubble. Electrical outages were reported throughout the capital hampering search and rescue efforts.
Officials expected the death toll to rise sharply as emergency workers dug through rubble across a swathe of the city to rescue people and remove the dead. It was the most powerful blast to hit Beirut in years, making the ground tremble.
“What we are witnessing is a huge catastrophe,” the head of Lebanon’s Red Cross George Kettani told broadcaster Mayadeen. “There are victims and casualties everywhere – in all the streets and areas near and far from the explosion.”
“I saw a fireball and smoke billowing over Beirut. People were screaming and running, bleeding. Balconies were blown off buildings. Glass in high-rise buildings shattered and fell to the street,” said a Reuters witness.