A large blast in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, has killed at the least 70 human beings and injured extra than 2,seven hundred others, the health minister says.

Videos display smoke billowing from a hearth, then a mushroom cloud following the blast at the town’s port.

Officials are blaming fairly explosive materials stored in a warehouse for six years.

President Michel Aoun tweeted it changed into “unacceptable” that 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate became saved unsafely.

An research is under manner to find the precise cause for the explosion. Lebanon’s Supreme Defence Council said the ones responsible could face the “most punishment” feasible.

Hospitals are stated to be beaten and lots of homes had been destroyed.

President Aoun declared a 3-day mourning length, and stated the authorities might launch a hundred billion lira (£50.5m; $66m) of emergency price range.

A BBC journalist on the scene suggested dead bodies and severe harm, sufficient to put the port of Beirut out of movement.

In photographs: Chaos and destruction in Beirut after blast
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Prime Minister Hassan Diab called it a catastrophe and stated the ones accountable must be held to account.

He noted a “dangerous warehouse” which have been there on account that 2014, but stated he might no longer pre-empt the investigation.

Local media showed humans trapped under rubble. A witness described the primary explosion as deafening, and video photos showed wrecked automobiles and blast-damaged buildings.

“All the buildings round right here have collapsed. I’m walking through glass and particles anywhere, in the darkish,” one witness close to the port instructed AFP news business enterprise.

The blast changed into heard 240km (a hundred and fifty miles) away on the island of Cyprus in the jap Mediterranean.

The explosion comes at a sensitive time for Lebanon, with an monetary crisis reigniting antique divisions. Tensions also are excessive ahead of Friday’s verdict in a trial over the killing of ex-Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005.

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