Dozens Killed and wounded in Beirut, Lebanon blasts.
In pic : Explosion in Beirut, Lebanon Two major blasts shook the port of Beirut on Tuesday, killing at least 27 people and injuring thousands of others, shaking remote buildings and leaving the Lebanese capital in terror and confusion.
The thunderous second explosion shot a massive orange fireball into the sky, demolished the harbor and tore through the city with a tornado-like shockwave, smashing windows miles away. Bloody casualties staggered through central Beirut between rubble and burning buildings as Health Minister Hamad Hassan announced an initial estimated 27 deaths and 2,500 injuries, calling it a "disaster".
A port soldier told AFP: "It's a tragedy inside, corpses are on the ground." Relatives of people working inside the blast zone assembled at a security barricade as they were searching for their loved ones' news.
The explosions were heard as far away as Nicosia, 240 kilometers (150 miles) from the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus.
The reason of the blasts was not clearly known, but a senior official, General Security chief Abbas Ibrahim, said that seized explosive materials had been stored in the port of the city.
An Israeli government that asked for confidentiality said to AFP: "Israel has nothing to do with this incident."
Lebanon 's President Michel Aoun asked for "urgent" council talks on security, while Prime Minister Hasan Diab announced a day of grieving on Wednesday.
At the scene minutes after the explosion, an AFP correspondent said every shop in the commercial center of Hamra had suffered damage, with entire stores flattened, windows broken and several cars smashed.
A massive flame sent dark smoke from the port city, as helicopters poured water on buildings that were burning. There was a ship on fire moored off the harbour.
The explosions struck a nation that has already been suffering from the worst economic crisis in decades, leaving nearly half of the population in poverty and the coronavirus pandemic as well.
The blasts also came three days before a verdict by a UN tribunal on the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri, who was killed in a major truck bomb attack in 2005.