Cause Of Massive Explosions That Kills 100 In Lebanon Revealed!

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Explosion site in Beirut (REUTER)
Explosion site in Beirut (REUTER)

The cause of the huge explosions that rocked the capital city of Lebanon, Beirut on Tuesday was attributed to 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored unsafely in a warehouse, BBC reported.

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Rescued workers had hectic time searching for hundreds of people still missing as a result of explosions that devastated the port area of the capital Beirut.

The blast killed at least 100 people and injured more than 4,000 others.

The whole city was shaken by the explosion and a mushroom cloud could be seen spreading over the port area.

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President Michel Aoun said the blast was caused by 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored unsafely in a warehouse.

Ammonium nitrate is used as a fertiliser in agriculture and as an explosive.

Buildings were left gutted by the blast

The destruction is widespread
He scheduled an urgent cabinet meeting for Wednesday, and said a two-week state of emergency should be declared.

The country will observe an official period of mourning for three days from Wednesday.

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What happened?
The explosion occurred just after 18:00 (15:00 GMT) on Tuesday after a fire at the port according to the BBC report.

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Eyewitness Hadi Nasrallah says that he saw the fire but did not expect the blast. “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.” he told the BBC.

The BBC’s Lina Sinjab said she could feel the wave of the explosion from where she was, a five-minute drive from the port area . “My building was shaking, it was about to fall, all windows were forced open,” she said.

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The blast was also felt 240km (150 miles) away on the island of Cyprus, in the eastern Mediterranean, with people there saying they thought it was an earthquake.

BBC journalist Rami Ruhayem said there was chaos in the aftermath of the blast as ambulances with their sirens wailing inched their way through heavy traffic to get to the site. “Shards of glass blanketed the highway leading into Beirut from the north, as a tractor cleared the rubble.”

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The port area was largely flattened
Local media showed people trapped beneath rubble and video footage showed wrecked cars and blast-damaged buildings. Hospitals were said to be overwhelmed.

The head of Lebanon’s Red Cross, George Kettani, described it as a “huge catastrophe”, adding: “There are victims and casualties everywhere.”

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His organisation said more than 100 people had died and that a search and rescue operations was still under way to locate the more than 100 people missing.

Journalist Sunniva Rose said there was still smoke going up into the sky late into the evening. “The whole city was black. It was very hard to walk around, people were covered in blood. I saw an 86-year-old woman being treated by a doctor who had just run out of his home with a first aid kit.”

What triggered it?
Officials said that an investigation was under way to find the exact trigger which caused the ammonium nitrate – which had reportedly been stored in a warehouse after it was unloaded from a ship impounded at the port in 2013 – to explode.

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