Abdallahh from Montréal, Canada - Zaytunay Bay, Beirut via Wikimedia Commons

A massive explosion rocked Beirut, the capital city of Lebanon, on Tuesday sending shock waves rippling through the city. The detonation killed at least 100 people and further injured 4,000, according to the country’s health minister. Those figures are likely to rise.

The explosion was caught on video from multiple angles and is genuinely terrifying:


There are reports the blast happened at Hangar 12 at the Port of Beirut, where authorities had allegedly stored substantial quantities of ammonium nitrate after salvaging it from a cargo ship six years ago.

BBC Syria producer Riam Dalati tweeted details of a supposed audio message from the wife of an official who said the explosion was inevitably going to happen.

The damage to the city of 1.5 million appears to be extensive:

https://twitter.com/SVNewsAlerts/status/1290682641558241283

Windows were blown out of buildings up to six miles away.

The ultimate cause of the blast has not yet been confirmed. An official investigation is underway.

UPDATE: Here is the latest information as of Wednesday morning from Lebanon’s interior minister. (ABC News)

Interior Minister Mohammed Fahmi told a local TV station that it appeared the blast was caused by the detonation of more than 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate that had been stored in a warehouse at the dock ever since it was confiscated from a cargo ship in 2014. Witnesses reported seeing an orange cloud like that which appears when toxic nitrogen dioxide gas is released after an explosion involving nitrates.

The explosion came amid ongoing tensions between Israel and the Hezbollah military group on Lebanon’s southern border. Many residents reported hearing planes overhead just before the blast, fueling rumors of an attack, though Israeli military overflights are common.

An Israeli government official said Israel “had nothing to do” with the blast. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter with the news media. Israeli officials usually do not comment on “foreign reports.” The Israeli government offered emergency assistance through international intermediaries.

President Donald Trump said the U.S. “stands ready to assist Lebanon,” and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo extended his “deepest condolences.”

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Jake Walker has written for American Action News since the summer of 2019. His passions include geopolitics, history, and contemporary American politics. Jake's arrival in Washington, D.C. followed a rural New England upbringing in a tight-knit family.

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scot_belle
scot_belle
2 years ago

Warehouse, storing…”fireworks”????
This amount of damage, looks more like larger munitions
….than just “fireworks”. At least that’s my impression.

Dan Winright
Dan Winright
2 years ago
Reply to  scot_belle

How’s it going Scott? Keep up the good work!

Gregory Mortensen
Gregory Mortensen
2 years ago
Reply to  scot_belle

You are correct, black powder used in fireworks is a rather anemic explosive. The devastation was too extensive to be fireworks.

fred
fred
2 years ago
Reply to  scot_belle

Reports indicate that there was a large warehouse at the docks near the first incident that was storing large quatity of ammonium nitrate salvaged from a ship.

Frosty
Frosty
2 years ago
Reply to  fred

2,700 TONs of Ammonium Nitrate (red clouds) from ship. Oklahoma City Federal building (McVey) was less than a ton (estimate 3/4 ton). Let your imagination do the math.

CharlieSeattle
CharlieSeattle
2 years ago
Reply to  scot_belle

There was white smoke pouring out a while ….before the explosion.

Dan Winright
Dan Winright
2 years ago

I’m sad that it didn’t level the city.
Better luck next time.

A. D Roberts
2 years ago
Reply to  Dan Winright

It leveled a goo part of that city. Look at what has destroyed Beruit? The Christians and Muslims lived in peace for decades. So who started the violence? The MUSLIMS did. Who always starts the violence THE MUSLIMS.

lois
lois
2 years ago

That shape is simuler to a-bonb

Debra Flynn
Debra Flynn
2 years ago
Reply to  lois

Thank you. I said the same thing