“I met with some of our great generals, and they just seemed to feel that it was — this was not some kind of manufacturing explosion type of event,” the President said, The Hill reports. “According to them — they would know better than I would — but they seem to think it was an attack, it was a bomb of some kind.”
Beirut Explosion: Donald Trump Says Attack, Lebanon Says Differently
The President’s advisors believe the explosion was an attack. However, the Lebanese government reportedly thinks differently. Officials previously suggested that the explosion occurred when a warehouse storing explosive materials caught fire.
Lebanon prime minister Hassan Diab labeled the incident a “catastrophe.” The massive explosion left at least 135 dead and thousands injured, CNN reports.
According to Diab, the warehouse stored dangerous explosives “since 2014.” Diab says about 2,750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate sat in the warehouse “without preventive measures.”
The explosion took place at 6:07 p.m. local time on Tuesday near Beirut’s port and central district. The enormous eruption let the surrounding area devastated. Beirut Governor Marwan Aboud estimates the blast caused around three to five billion US dollars’ worth of damage.
The blast registered as a 3.3 magnitude earthquake. People in Cyprus, 250 miles away, felt the shockwaves from the explosion. The crater left from the explosion stretches 405 feet in diameter.
Authorities say the death toll stands at 135. However, officials expect the number to rise. Furthermore, another 5,000 sustained injuries.
According to Abboud, around 300,000 people could not “sleep in their homes” after the blast. Abboud continued by saying “half of Beirut’s population have homes that are unliveable for the foreseeable future — for the next two weeks.”
In a statement, Diab promises to capture the people responsible for the blast. He plans to “hold them accountable, and impose maximum punishment.”
[H/T The Hill]