Lebanon’s health minister, Hamad Hassan said that the figures were “preliminary estimates,” while adding that the blasts had caused a ‘very high number of injuries’ and huge damage.
“It is a disaster in every sense of the word,” he said in an interview with several television channels while visiting a hospital in the Lebanese capital.
The explosion happened at around 6pm local time at the city’s port, where warehouses are believed to contain explosive materials.
Dramatic footage posted on social media shows smoke billowing from a building in the port area before an enormous fireball explodes into the sky, sending a vast shockwave across the city that was heard and felt as far away as Cyprus – more than 200km (180 miles) away.
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