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Thousands injured after massive explosions rock Lebanese capital

At least 30 people were killed

TASS, August 4. More than two thousand people have been injured in devastating explosions in the port of Lebanon’s Beirut Tuesday. At least 30 people were killed, Al-Hadath TV reported.

The blast sent a shock wave through residential neighborhoods of the capital city. Facades of several buildings near the port collapsed, residential buildings and offices were damaged.

At least 70 people were killed and more than 3,700 injured in the disaster, Al Jazeera reported via Twitter citing Health Minister Hassan Hamad.  However, according to unofficial data, many more lives were lost as some people remain trapped under buildings, destroyed by the shockwave.

Lebanese Interior Minister Mohammad Fahmi told Al Hadath TV the explosion was caused by detonation of ammonium nitrate stored in the port.

At the same time, the Al Mayadeen TV reported, citing a law enforcement source, that the disaster was a result of detonation of "smuggled explosive substances, confiscated from a ship nine years ago and stored in the port for all these years awaiting further reprocessing or disposal."

"Four months ago, a report was prepared, indicating the threat of storing this amount of explosive substances in the harbor," the source was quoted as saying.

According to some reports, a short circuit caused a fire at the storage facility, and the explosives detonated.

Meanwhile, the Lebanese capital’s hospitals are overcrowded. More than 300 injured were admitted to only one of them in less than one hour. The authorities urge residents to donate blood.

Prime Minister Hassan Diab said in a televised address to the nation on Tuesday the explosion was "a huge disaster" for the nation, but those guilty will be found and punished,

"A huge disaster struck Lebanon," he said. "It will not be left unpunished, those guilty will bear responsibility."

The minister called upon "all friendly and brotherly nations" to help and support his country.