AN explosion in the port of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, laid waste to the parts of the city and has so far killed 73 people and injured more the 3 700 people.
The General Security Chief Abbas Ibrahim of the country on the eastern Mediterranean said the massive blast was caused by 2 700 tons of ammonium nitrate that ignited during a fire in a warehouse. Ammonium nitrate is an ingredient of commercial explosive used in the mining industry A huge amount of it was stored at the port and was destined for mining operations in Africa when it exploded.
The Lebanese health ministry confirmed that the death toll stood at 73 and indicated that the number might still rise as the search for more victims continue.
The huge blast released a shockwave causing widespread damage to buildings and shattering windows in different parts of the city.
The massive explosion not only decimated parts of the Lebanese capital but sent shock waves around the world with many countries, among them Israel, pledging aid and assistance in the hours following the blast on Tuesday.
The shockwave of the explosion caused widespread damage to buildings and shattering windows. It left the port a wasteland; cars hanging from the mangled beams of warehouses bent containers spread across roadways and a large ship listing onto the quayside.
Helicopters were circling the port area in an attempt to extinguish a large fire that followed.
Hospitals in the city were overwhelmed with wounded and turning those with non-serious injuries away.
Pharmacies in the city were asked to welcome the wounded in order to take pressure off hospitals.
Doctors went on live television to ask people to donate blood.