Beirut blast: At least 10 dead in explosion ‘like nuclear bombs’

 

A blast in Beirut has been compared with the nuclear explosions after bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan in World War Two.

There were reports that 11 bodies had been recovered from the blast site, and that at least one three story building has collapsed.

The blast was so loud, it could be heard as far away as Cyprus, 200 kilometres away in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Lebanese Red Cross has reported that it has 30 ambulances responding to the blast, but there were reports that wounded people were walking themselves to hospital.

 

Australia's Ambassador to Lebanon Rebekah Grindlay was yet to make a comment.

News Corp Australia has sent questions to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade about whether any Australians were involved.

Beirut's governor, according to a translation, was crying as he fronted local TV cameras and compared the blast to the nuclear explosions in Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

There was widespread damage across the city, with the force of the blast blowing windscreens out from cars.

The streets were strewn with debri, making rescue attempts and medical help, more difficult.

HUGE EXPLOSION ROCKS BEIRUT

A huge explosion has rocked the port area in Beirut, with dramatic footage showing a blast followed by plumes of smoke.

Initial reports suggested hundreds of injuries and an unknown number possibly killed.

Some angles of the footage showed a blast of red flame higher than a nearby tall building block, with water from the nearby harbour also flying high in the air.

 

 

The incident happened early on Wednesday morning Australian time in the Lebanese capital.

Reports from the scene claimed there were injuries to residents and destruction across the city.

 

 

There were conflicting reports about the cause of the blast, although local media were claiming that a fireworks factory had exploded.

 

 

A French reporter based in Beirut claimed that her apartment was "blown up" and that she feared it was a missile.

The blast happened in warehouses in the city's port area, with the force smashing nearby windows and doors.

A column of smoke was seen rising above the city, with other reports claiming that the explosion causes internal ceilings to collapse.

Human rights activist Abhijit Iyer-Mitra said: "These explosions in #Beirut a few minutes back are not nuclear for sure - but the force is almost kiloton level.

"Look at the shockwaves. Thoughts with my friends in Beirut and their families."

Leila Molana-Allen, Middle East correspondent for France 24 based in Beirut, said: "My apartment in Beirut was just blown apart. We think it was a missile from a jet. We're ok."

Sky News's Middle East editor Zain Ja'far, said: "It tore apart the facade of the building we're in, and once the dust settled we managed to get ourselves and others in this block outside."

Lebanese authorities had claimed that there was a fault at the port, which sparked a fire and then the explosion.

They have blamed poor maintenance at a warehouse, which contained chemical substances, had led to the blast.

People on the ground in Beirut said that they expected the blast would have caused deaths, but there was no official confirmation, and there were expected to be at least hundreds of injuries.

A woman who was on the ground told News Corp Australia: "I can't talk right now, I'm just cleaning up my shattered apartment."

Originally published as Beirut blast: At least 10 dead in explosion 'like nuclear bombs'



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