A massive explosion ripped through central Beirut on Tuesday, killing at least 73 persons, injuring thousands more and blowing out windows in buildings across the city.
The blast near Beirut’s port sent up a huge mushroom cloud-shaped shockwave, flipping cars and damaging distant buildings. It was felt as far as Cyprus, hundreds of miles away, and caused a 3.3 magnitude earthquake in the Lebanese capital.
Health Minister Hamad Hassan confirmed that fatalities according to national broadcaster TeleLiban. He told reporters earlier that at least 2,750 people have been wounded.
There were conflicting reports on what caused the explosion, which was initially blamed on a major fire at a warehouse for firecrackers near the port, according to NNA.
The director of the general security directorate later said the blast was caused by “high explosive materials confiscated years ago,” but did not provide further details.