A massive explosion has shaken Lebanon’s capital Beirut on Tuesday, killing several people and wounding hundreds.
It is not yet clear what caused the explosion in the port area of the city. Videos posted online showed a large mushroom cloud and destroyed buildings. Hospitals are said to be overwhelmed by casualties.
It comes at a sensitive time with the country’s economic collapse reigniting old tensions. Security chief says blast occurred in Beirut port area housing explosive materials.
Israeli officials have however denied connection to incident.
The head of the Lebanese Red Cross said hundreds of people had been taken to hospitals, while others were still trapped in their homes.
The blast flattened much of the city’s port, damaging buildings and blowing out windows and doors as a giant mushroom cloud rose above the capital.
Beirut governor Marwan Abboud has said the city was a “disaster area” and the scale of the damage was “enormous,” while medical and security sources told Reuters that at least 10 people were dead.
Lebanon’s internal security chief Abbas Ibrahim said that the blast occurred in a section housing highly explosive materials.