The city of Beirut was rocked by a massive explosion on Tuesday, and video of the aftermath has emerged, showing smoke seeming to endlessly stream from the rubble. The captured video was shared by Reuters, and depicts a hellscape of the blaze raging beneath the white smoke. Many emergency vehicle lights can be seen, revealing that authorities are on the scene and working to get it under control.
Reuters has reported that at least 10 bodies have been found so far, but a Lebanese Red Cross official has been quoted as saying that there are likely hundreds of casualties. The explosion is said to have sparked from a warehouse fire at a facility being used to store fireworks. The explosion was felt across the Lebanese capital, with many buildings having their windows knocked out. The explosion also caused car accidents and major traffic problems. "It was like a nuclear explosion," said Walid Abdo, a school teacher in a neighborhood near Beirut, per the AP.
Watch the scene of a large explosion as thick smoke rises from Lebanon's capital Beirut https://t.co/ot2sUqG4wf— Reuters (@Reuters) August 4, 2020
Beirut Governor Marwan Abboud was speaking to a journalist about the terrible destruction, and while he was explaining what he'd seen, he began to grow emotional. "It looks like what happened in Japan, in Hiroshima and Nagasaki," he said. "That's what it reminds me of. I have never seen destruction on this scale in my life."
Hadi Nasrallah, an eyewitness to the carnage, spoke to 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. Literally all over Beirut, people were calling each other from different areas kilometres away and they were experiencing the same thing: broken glass, buildings shaking, a loud explosion."
Many have since taken to social media to express their concern and sympathy over what has happened with Beirut. "My thoughts are with the people of #Lebanon and with the families of the victims of the tragic #BeirutBlast," tweeted President of the European Council Charles Michel. "The EU stands ready to provide assistance and support. Stay strong." Formula 1 driver Charles Leclerc added, "Heartbreaking to see what happened earlier today in Beirut. My thoughts and prayers are with those affected by that devastating explosion."