A massive explosion in Beirut port rocks the capital city of Lebanon leaving thousands of casualties.
According to Lebanon’s health ministry, the death toll has risen to 73, with 3,700 wounded.
Visuals of the explosion show a massive shockwave causing widespread damage to buildings and shattering windows in different parts of the city.
“Cars were thrown three floors up onto roofs of factories here,” AlJazeera correspondent Timour Azhari reports from the location.
Interior minister says the explosion at port appears to have been caused by ammonium nitrate stored in the warehouse. Israel, to multiple news agencies, has told they are not involved.
The Lebanese customs director-general, Badri Daher, also claimed the blast occurred at a chemical warehouse in the port area that was housing highly explosive materials that had been impounded some time ago, TheGuardian reports.
Casualties are likely to increase as hundreds are rushed to hospitals. Helicopters are used to extinguish the fire to make way for rescue operations. Prime Minister Hassan Diab has called for a day of mourning on Wednesday.
Lebanon is experiencing political turmoil, with street demonstrations against the government’s handling of the worst economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.