Huge Blast In Lebanon
Beirut, Lebanon – Hundreds of people have been wounded in a powerful explosion that ripped through Lebanon’s capital, Beirut, according to the country’s health minister.
The massive explosion on Tuesday at Beirut’s port caused widespread damage to buildings, shattering windows in different parts of the city. It sent shockwaves across the capital.
The cause of the explosion was not immediately clear.
Hamad Hassan, Lebanon’s health minister, said hundreds were wounded in the explosion.
Helicopters circling the port area were trying to extinguish a large fire. The captain of an Italian ship, the Orient Queen, that was docked near the explosion site, told Al Jazeera several people on board were wounded and taken to hospital.
He was covered in blood after the explosion threw him across a room of his ship.
Video of the incident taken by Al Jazeera shows a large column of smoke billowing from an area of the port that houses large warehouses before a large orange explosion is seen and huge dome-shaped blast wave shoots into the air.
Glass storefronts and windowpanes across the city were shattered in the explosion, while videos and pictures shared on social media showed doors ripped from their hinges and ceilings filled with gaping holes.
“I can’t believe I’m still alive,” Nada Hamza, a Beirut resident, told Al Jazeera.
The wave from the explosion caused extensive damage to buildings within a large radius of the blast site.
“I was kilometres away; the glass broke everywhere around me,” said Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khodr, reporting from Beirut.
“The explosion was felt across the city,” she added. “There is chaos in the streets.”