The explosion in the port of Beirut killed at least 73 people and injured 3,700 people on Tuesday. This number may increase even further, because many people are still buried under the rubble.
Hamad Hassan, the health minister, announced this number Tuesday night (local time).
Among the many injured are five employees of the Dutch embassy. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports that one of them is seriously injured.
Shortly after a fire broke out in the warehouse at the beginning of the evening, a huge explosion followed. This explosion could be felt all over the city and many windows and roofs fell. Many buildings have been razed to the ground in the immediate vicinity of the explosion.
According to the European Seismological Institute EMSC you could feel the vibration of the explosion as far as Cyprus, about 250 kilometers from Beirut.
Haven is near central district
The warehouse was located near the central district of Beirut, where many embassies and hotels are located. It is still unclear what caused the fire and whether it was intentional.
According to local security services, more than 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate had been stored since 2014. Lebanese President Michel Aoun called this “unacceptable” Tuesday evening.
At a news conference, Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab said those responsible for the massive explosion in a “dangerous” warehouse will “pay the price.”
Lebanon has declared a state of emergency for the next two weeks.