Huge explosions rock Beirut with widespread damage, injuries

(UPDATE: 8:00 p.m.) – Per Lebanon’s interior minister, it seems as though the explosion was the result of a detonation of more than 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate. The material had been confiscated from a cargo ship in 2014.

In total so far, the blast has killed more than 70 people and injured over 3,000.

Videos that were taken before the explosion show a fire that erupted near the location of the explosion. The fire then triggered the explosion.

UPDATE: (2:00 p.m.) – At least 50 people have been killed and more than 2,700 are injured according to Lebanon’s health minister.

BEIRUT (AP) — Explosions rocked Beirut, inflicting injuries and damaging buildings in a large radius around the city;s port.

The afternoon blast shook several parts of the capital and thick smoke billowed from the city center. Residents reported windows blown out and a ceilings falling.

The explosion appeared to be centered around the port and caused widespread damage. An Associated Press photographer near the port saw people lying hurt on the ground.

The cause of the blast was not immediately clear. It came at a time when Lebanon is passing through its worst economic and financial crisis in decades and amid tensions between Israel and the militant Hezbollah group.

Some local TV stations reported the blast was in a building where fireworks were stored.

Categories: National News