A hefty blast in the warehouses near the port of central Beirut. The warehouses were used to reserve highly explosive material. The Blast killed 78 people and injured nearly 4,000 innocent people. The Blast shoved off shockwaves that shattered the windows, smashed masonry, and shook the ground all across the Lebanese capital ‘Beirut’.
The Officials said the expected death toll is to rise further after the blast. The emergency workers had to evacuate through the wreckage caused by the Blast, to rescue the people and remove the dead. Therefore, it was the most vigorous explosion in the history of Beirut. However, the country was already reeling from an economic crisis due to the surge in coronavirus pandemic.
President Michel Aoun
President Michel Aoun stated that 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate which is used for manufacturing fertilizers and bombs were being stored for the past six years at the port without any kind of safety measures. He called in for a two-week state of emergency in the state. “What we are witnessing is a huge catastrophe,” the head of Lebanon’s Red Cross George Kettani.
“There are victims and casualties everywhere.”
Many hours after the blast, which was set down shortly after 6 pm (1500 GMT). A fire blazed in the port casting an orange smoke ball all over the sky. The helicopters hovered in the sky and ambulance patrolled across the capital to look for injured. A source said the victims were taken for the treatment outside the city because the hospitals were swamped with the injured. Emergencies, Ambulances from north, south, and east of the country were called in for help.
The blast was so intense, that it recalled the memories of the 1975-90 civil war. When Lebanese endured heavy shelling, car bombings, and Israeli air raids. Civilians thought an earthquake had might hit the grounds of Beirut. Dazed, weeping and injured people walking through streets of Beirut searching for their relatives. Meanwhile, the rest were looking for their missing loved ones in the overflowed hospitals. A medic said 200 to 300 people had been admitted to a single emergency department.
“The blast blew me off meters away. I was in a daze and was all covered in blood. It brought back the vision of another explosion I witnessed against the US embassy in 1983,” said Huda Baroudi.
“I’ve never seen this. It was horrible,”The medic, who gave her name as – Rouba
Beirut – Prime Minister Hassan Diab
Prime Minister Hassan Diab told the nation there would be accountability for the deadly blast at the “dangerous warehouse”, adding “those responsible will pay the price.” The United States embassy in Beirut warned the residents within the city about the release of toxic gases after the blast. Urging people to stay indoors and wear masks if available in these difficult times.
Bleeded people were seen running and calling for help in curtains of smoke and dust. It seemed as if the streets had been hit by an earthquake. Damaged buildings, flying debris, and wrecked cars. The local media says it was started by welding work being carried out on a hole in the warehouse.
The government said it was still struggling to establish the magnitude of the disaster. “There are many people missing. 78 people were killed and nearly 4,000 injured. A Lebanese broadcaster at al-Jadeed read out the appeals for information about the missing into the early hours of the morning. Some people posted photos of missing relatives on social media. The prime minister called for a day of mourning on Wednesday.
Tangled Wreckage – Beirut
Israeli officials said Israel, has fought several wars with Lebanon, but it had nothing to do with the blast and said their country was ready to give humanitarian and medical assistance. Iran, has also offered support, as did Saudi Arabia. Qatar and Iraq are sending makeshift hospitals to assist the high numbers of casualties. The United States, Britain, France and Germany said they were ready to help and support them in these hard times.
The US President Donald Trump indicated that the explosion might be an attack. later Trump said that he had discussed with some US generals who felt it was not “some kind of a manufacturing explosion type of event.”
The blast threatens a new humanitarian crisis in the nation that hosts hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees. Lebanon was already grappling with economic meltdown prior to the COVID-19 crisis. The situation is Devastating as it was the main entrance of the country that relies on food imports to feed its population of more than six million. Lebanon is going through hard times and every Muslim country should stand aside.