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Number of casualties in Beirut blast increases to 178

At least 30 people remain missing

BEIRUT, August 14. /TASS/. At least 178 people have been killed as a result of the explosion in the Beirut port district, Al Arabiya TV channel reported on Friday citing the UN sources in Beirut.

According to the TV channel, no less than 30 people remain missing.

Earlier, 171 casualties and about 6,000 injured were reported.

A powerful blast at a warehouse rocked the Beirut seaport area on August 4, sending a shockwave through residential neighborhoods of the Lebanese capital. According to chairman of the Lebanese contractors syndicate Maroun Helou, the shockwave destroyed and damaged about 40,000 buildings and 200,000 apartments with over 300,000 people left homeless. According to Lebanon’s Interior Ministry, a fire was started by welding work and caused the detonation of more than 2,700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, which had been stored in the port for six years after being seized by the customs service. Insurance companies currently estimate the damage as $3 bln.