Beirut explosion: At least 100 dead and thousands injured

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

At least 100 people are dead and 4,000 injured after a huge explosion in the Lebanese capital of Beirut last night.

Authorities in Lebanon have not yet confirmed the cause of the blast though speculation has initially suggested an accidental explosion linked to the storage of dangerous chemicals.

Abbas Ibrahim, chief of Lebanese General Security, said it could have been caused by highly explosive material that was confiscated from a ship some time ago and stored at the port.

US president Donald Trump has said American military officials felt it may have been a bomb attack.

Boris Johnson has confirmed that British nationals were caught up in the incident.

The Prime Minister tweeted: “The pictures and videos from Beirut tonight are shocking. All of my thoughts and prayers are with those caught up in this terrible incident.

“The UK is ready to provide support in any way we can, including to those British nationals affected.”

The Foreign Office confirmed that all members of staff at the British embassy in Beirut are accounted for, but some have sustained “non-life-threatening injuries”.

Foreign Affairs Select Committee chairman Tom Tugendhat described the incident as “heart breaking.”

Speaking with talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer, the Conservative MP said: “However this happened, it is an extraordinary moment in Beirut’s life.

“If it is stuff stored in the port as is possible then there are huge failures of governance, if it is an attack then there are real questions to be asked.”

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