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Beirut blast toll 100; 4,000 injured

Beirut, August 5, 2020

The death toll in the powerful warehouse explosion that shook the Lebanese capital Beirut reached 100. Nearly 4,000 people were injured in the blast.
 
Lebanese rescue workers dug through rubble looking for survivors of the blast, even as officials said the toll is expected to rise.
 
Tuesday’s blast at port warehouses storing highly explosive material was the most powerful in years in Beirut, already reeling from an economic crisis and a surge in coronavirus infections, Reuters said.
 
President Michel Aoun said that 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, used in fertilisers and bombs, had been stored for six years at the port without safety measures, and he said that was “unacceptable”.
 
Officials did not say what caused the blaze that set off the blast. A security source and media said it was started by welding work being carried out on a hole in the warehouse.
 
“It’s like a war zone. I’m speechless,” Beirut’s mayor, Jamal Itani, told Reuters while inspecting damage on Wednesday that he estimated would cost billions of dollars.
 
“This is a catastrophe for Beirut and Lebanon.”
 



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