A massive explosion rocked Beirut, Tuesday, August 4, flattening much of the port, damaging buildings across the capital and sending a giant mushroom cloud into the sky.
READ MORE: At least 60 are dead and 2,500 injured after a massive explosion Tuesday rocked the port area of Beirut in what a Red Cross official called a “huge catastrophe.”
Much of the port was destroyed. Buildings and parked cars across the Lebanese capital were heavily damaged.
Ambulances carried the wounded away from the area hours after the blast. As night fell, the exact cause of the explosion remained unknown.
A Lebanese television station said officials suspect highly explosive sodium nitrate stored at the port may have been involved. People reported seeing an orange-colored cloud hovering over the blast site. Experts say such clouds usually accompany explosions involving nitrates.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun is calling on the cabinet to declare a two-week state of emergency in Beirut after a massive explosion early Tuesday destroyed much of the city’s port, killing at least 60 and injuring 3,000.
Although the cause of the blast is unknown, Aoun said improperly stored explosives were as a possible cause.