The massive Beirut explosion smashed all nearby windows and wounded dozens of people who were walking around the downtown, according to eyewitnesses. Reuters reported that someone who saw the tragic destruction with their own eyes said windows were "smashed" in many buildings and that the many "wounded people" wandering around just added to the scene of "total chaos." The witness also stated that she saw smoke around the port area, and then later heard an explosion, which led to flames and black smoke.
The explosion is said to have sparked in a warehouse at the Lebanon capital's port. The space stored fireworks and other materials. The number of people injured by the blast is reportedly very high, and the death toll continues to rise. It was initially reported that 10 people had died, with the death toll said to be upwards of 50 at the time of this writing. Rania Masri, another Beirut resident, described the blast as feeling like an earthquake. "The apartment shook horizontally, and all of a sudden, it felt like an explosion, and the windows and doors burst open," Marsi said. "The glass just broke. So many homes were damaged or destroyed."
‘All the downtown area windows are smashed and there are wounded people walking around. It is total chaos’: A @Reuters witness said she saw heavy grey smoke near the port area and then heard an explosion and saw flames of fire and black smoke https://t.co/aCOqnVPiIU pic.twitter.com/USzjXqLN8A— Reuters (@Reuters) August 4, 2020
Hadi Nasrallah, one more eyewitness to the flames and devastation, spoke with the BBC and said, "I saw the fire, but I didn't yet know there was going to be an explosion. We went inside. Suddenly I lost my hearing because apparently I was too close. I lost my hearing for a few seconds, I knew something was wrong. And then suddenly the glass just shattered all over the car, the cars around us, the shops, the stores, the buildings. Just glass going down from all over the building."
Nasrallah went on to say, "Literally all over Beirut, people were calling each other from different areas kilometers away and they were experiencing the same thing: broken glass, buildings shaking, a loud explosion. Actually, we were shocked because usually when it happens, just one area will experience those happenings after an explosion, but this time it was all of Beirut, even areas outside of Beirut."