An enormous explosion in Beirut on Tuesday completely destroyed a port and wreaked havoc on surrounding buildings in the Lebanon capital. Officials say at least 25 people died and another 2,500 sustained injuries in the explosion.
Before the huge explosion erupted sending a mushroom cloud into the sky, video of the incident shows what looks like fireworks going off. A clip of the shocking footage surfaced on social media on Tuesday morning.
At the time of the explosion, Marwan Ramadan was about 500 yards away from the port. He says the force of the explosion swept him off his feet. “It was a real horror show. I haven’t seen anything like that since the days of the (civil) war,” Ramadan said, according to AP.
Initially, local TV stations reported that a fireworks warehouse was involved in the explosion. Charbel Haj works at the port. Haj says the explosion started small like firecrackers. Then a huge blast followed shortly thereafter.
Beirut Explosion Wrecks a Country Already in Turmoil
Like most other countries, Lebanon is already battling the coronavirus pandemic. Furthermore, the country is experiencing an economic crisis. Now, given Tuesday’s explosion, many hospitals quickly filled up beyond capacity.
Several Beirut hospitals also sustained significant damage in the blast. One doctor speaking on anonymity says, “This is a catastrophe we have on our hands.”
Due to overcrowded and damaged hospitals, emergency responders treated a number of victims on site at the port. In order to provide them with proper care, the authorities sent many survivors of the blast to medical centers outside the capital.
The Beirut explosion caused damage to buildings and other structures miles away from the port. The streets lie under a layer of bricks and glass while lined with wrecked vehicles. A civil defense official on the scene says authorities expect fo find more bodies amongst the debris at the port.