Beirut Explosion Believed to Be Result of Fire at Warehouse With Highly Explosive Material

A massive explosion occurred in Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, on Tuesday. According to CNN, at least 25 people were killed in the blast, and over 2,500 other individuals were injured. The incident is believed to have been the result of a fire in a warehouse that contained highly explosive materials.

The blast took place on Tuesday near the port in Beirut. Based on videos captured by social media users, smoke could be seen billowing out of the location shortly before a massive explosion occurred, sending up a mushroom cloud-shaped shockwave through the city. The blast not only flipped over cars and damaged buildings, but it also led to numerous casualties. While officials are still trying to determine the exact figures, it is believed that at least 25 people died and thousands were injured. Although, that number could climb higher as officials investigate the full extent of the damage that the explosion caused. As previously mentioned, this incident is believed to be the result of a fire in a warehouse that contained highly explosive materials. Lebanon's internal security chief told reporters shortly after the explosion took place that they believed that the blast was caused by the highly explosive material that was in the warehouse, even though some wondered whether the location contained actual explosives.

After the explosion took place, Beirut's governor, Marwan Abboud, spoke with reporters and broke down while discussing the devastation that took place in the city. Abboud became visibly emotional as he discussed the situation with reporters. He even compared the incident to the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II, telling reporters that he has never seen such a distressing sight. "It resembles to what happened in Japan, in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That's what [it] reminds me of. In my life, I haven't seen destruction on this scale," Abboud said about the explosion, which blew out nearby windows. "This is a national catastrophe."

Rania Masri, who witnessed the explosion, also recounted just how devastating the blast was. She even compared it to that of an earthquake (as CNN noted, the explosion could be felt as far away as Cyprus, which is hundreds of miles away from Beirut). "The apartment shook horizontally, and all of a sudden, it felt like an explosion, and the windows and doors burst open," Masri said. "The glass just broke. So many homes were damaged or destroyed."