BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon’s health minister says at least 50 people were killed and over 2,700 were injured in the huge explosion that rocked Beirut.
The blast flattened much of the the city’s port, damaging buildings across the capital and sending a giant mushroom cloud into the sky. A civil defense official said his men had evacuated dozens to hospitals and that there were still bodies under debris. The cause of the blast was not immediately known.
A international correspondent posted videos of the explosion on his Twitter account.
An Israeli government official says Israel “had nothing to do” with it. The blast was stunning even for a city that has seen civil war, suicide bombings and bombardment by Israel. It could be heard and felt as far away as Cyprus, across the Mediterranean.
Residents reported windows being blown out and a false ceilings dropping.
An Associated Press photographer near Beirut’s port witnessed people wounded on the ground and widespread destruction in central Beirut. Some local TV stations reported the blast was at Beirut’s port inside an area where firecrackers were stored.