A huge explosion at the Beirut port and a senior security official says that 2700 tons of ammonia nitrate caused it

Seventy-three people were killed and more than 3,700 injured, Tuesday, in a huge explosion in the port of Beirut, according to the authorities, which also caused panic among the population, and destroyed all parts of the capital.

At the Beirut port, the containers turned into rubble. 

In all the streets and neighborhoods of the capital, destroyed cars were seen abandoned in the roads, blood-stricken wounded and scattered glass everywhere. 

The shattered glass and ruins reached the suburbs and areas relatively far from Beirut.

The Ministry of Health reported that 73 people were killed and 3,700 wounded as a result of the explosion, which was believed to be a security source caused by a “containerized explosion containing quantities of aluminum nitrate”.

A senior Lebanese security official said that about 2,700 tons of ammonia nitrate had caused the explosion.

A security source told Agence France Presse that these materials were confiscated years ago from a ship that had been damaged in the port of Beirut.

He added, “A year ago, I started to filter from the shipments a highly explosive substance,” noting that the issue had not been followed up as required.

The Lebanese Prime Minister, Hassan Diab, in a speech on the evening of TV screens, vowed to hold accountable those responsible for a disaster.

“What happened today will not pass without an account. 

Those responsible for this catastrophe will pay the price”, he said.

Diab also made an “urgent appeal to all friendly and brotherly countries that love Lebanon to stand at the edge of Lebanon and help us to deepen our deep wounds”.

The explosion occurred shortly after 6:00 pm (15:00 GMT). 

After three hours, the sound of the ambulances did not stop, as it roamed all over the capital, transporting the injured to hospitals, while terrifying images of destruction spread everywhere, and panic prevailed among the passers-by.

Lebanese president Michal Aoun called for providing aid to the wounded and the injured at the expense of the Ministry of Health, and to provide shelter for families who were displaced as a result of the massive damage to property caused by the explosion.

Israel denied its involvement in the Beirut explosion, according to the Israeli army radio.

An Israeli security source denied this evening, Tuesday evening, any involvement by Israel in the explosion that occurred in the port of Beirut.

The Israeli army radio quoted a security source as saying that “Israel denies any involvement in the Beirut explosion”.

For its part, the Israeli “Channel 12” reported, quoting high-ranking political officials, saying that “Israel has nothing to do with the explosion that rocked the Lebanese capital, Beirut”.

A huge explosion shook the port of the Lebanese capital, Beirut, on Tuesday, causing casualties and huge material losses. 

And the blast occurred on the 12th ward in Beirut Port, which resulted in burning due to the crackers inside it.

The explosion also resulted in injuries, and houses and cars were damaged.

A security source said that the explosion occurred in the port of Beirut and caused dozens of injuries.

A security source indicated that there were two consecutive explosions.

Videos circulated on social media showed a first explosion, followed by a huge explosion, and thick smoke billowing over the area.

The explosion shook all parts of the capital and affected all the neighborhoods, reaching the suburbs, and a large number of buildings, shops, and cars fell in the windows. 

People on the Lebanese island of Cyprus, facing Lebanon, also heard the explosion.

“There is a tragedy inside.

There are a lot of bodies on the ground and ambulances are still working to transport the wounded,” a soldier said at the entrance to the Beirut port.

When AFP correspondents arrived, they saw many containers in the port turned into rubble.

At sea, a ship, which was not known to be carrying passengers or workers, was on fire. 

An officer at the scene asked reporters to leave the entire area of ​​the port for fear of the explosion of the ship containing fuel.

Security forces blocked all roads leading to the port, and prevented journalists from approaching. 

Only ambulances and civil defense were allowed to pass.

A journalist at Agence France-Presse saw dozens of wounded arriving at the Hotel Dieu hospital in Ashrafieh, east of Beirut, including children. 

A large number of them were covered in blood from head to toe.

In front of Clemenceau Hospital in West Beirut, dozens of wounded were waiting outside for admission to receive treatment.

Journalists at Agence France-Presse also saw parked and abandoned cars in the middle of the street near the harbor, which was severely damaged.

Buildings were badly damaged, and glass was scattered everywhere.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun called an emergency meeting on Tuesday evening for the Supreme Council of Defense in the Baabda Palace, following the huge explosion.

Diab announced on Wednesday the day of national mourning for “victims of the explosion.”

The Baabda Palace, the headquarters of the Presidency located in the eastern suburb of Beirut, the Government Presidency headquarters and Beirut International Airport, was damaged.

“The volume of the sound and the roar lasted for a few seconds, and I have never heard anything like it in my life,” one Lebanese wrote on Twitter after the explosion.

“I felt something like an earthquake, and then the explosion was heard,” a woman in the center of the capital told a France Press journalist. I felt it was stronger than the 2005 explosion that killed Rafik Hariri.

Lebanon is currently experiencing the worst economic crisis in its history, with a deterioration in the currency rate, restrictions on bank deposits, inflation and high prices. 

In addition to losing thousands of their jobs.

Immediately after the explosion, it was rumored that he was the result of an Israeli raid targeting a warehouse containing Hezbollah weapons. 

But Israeli officials vehemently denied any connection to what happened.

French President Emmanuel Macron announced his solidarity with the Lebanese, saying “France always stands by Lebanon”.

He added that French “aid” would be sent to Lebanon.

The United States, Russia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates also offered condolences to the victims, while Iran confirmed its support for Lebanon.