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Massive explosion in Lebanon’s capital leaves over 100 dead and more than 4000 wounded Tuesday

PHOTO CREDITS: STAR TRIBUNE

There was an explosion shortly after 6PM local time on Tuesday in the port of Lebanon capital, Beirut, which wounded over 4000 and killed more than 100 (USA Today). ~

Hundreds of people are still reported missing as of August 5th, with concerns that the death toll will rise in coming days (CNN). Reports say that homes over 10 kilometers away from the explosion site were damaged (CNN). Prior to the explosion there was a reddish-orangish smoke cloud; the explosion was described as dome-shaped (Al Jazeera). ~

Lebanon was already a country in crisis, with COVID-19 raging around the world, and an unprecedented financial crisis crushing the nation (Al Jazeera). The cause of the explosion is still unknown, though initial reports suggested that the explosion was caused by a fire at a warehouse storing fireworks (CNN). Later, the director of the general security directorate said “high explosive materials which were confiscated years ago” was the likely cause (CNN). The explosives were said to be 2700 pounds of ammonium nitrate – a chemical used both in explosives and fertilizer – that had been stored in the warehouse since 2013, when the cargo ship carrying them was impounded (USA Today). ~

President Trump has offered assistance to Lebanon, and called the explosion a “terrible attack” (CNN); Lebanese officials have not referred to the explosion as an attack (CNN). Israel has offered humanitarian aid, despite intermittent conflict with Lebanon; they have also denied involvement (USA Today). Hospitals have been filling up, with pharmacies being asked to tend the wounded, and blood donations being begged for (Al Jazeera). The economy in Lebanon will also be hurt, as Beirut’s port was completely destroyed, and most businesses in the city were affected (CNN). Many people now are without homes or safe shelters to spend the night in (CBS). ~

ARTICLE: DANIEL ENGLAND

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