BEIRUT BLASTS KILL 78, INJURES 4,000
A massive explosion shook the Lebanese capital city of Beirut on Tuesday, followed by another huge blast that killed at least 78 and wounded more than 4,000 wounded, the Lebanese national news agency and the British newspaper The Guardian reported. Two of those killed were Filipinos and six of their compatriots were hurt.
Reporting for Business Insider, Ryan Pickrell wrote on August 5, 2020 that the cause of the main blast, which originated near the city's port, was not immediately clear. Early reports pointed to a fire at a fireworks storage facility, but the director-general of Lebanese intelligence suggested that confiscated high-explosive materials stored at the local port triggered the explosion. A red-orange cloud — the color of which could be explained by nitrates — lingered over part of the city after the explosion. The Lebanese government declared Wednesday as a national day of mourning.
Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim, the director-general of Lebanese intelligence, dismissed the fireworks explanation as "ridiculous," attributing the blast to confiscated high-explosive materials stored at the local port. But Ibrahim said he would not preempt the investigation.
A red-orange cloud — the color of which could be explained by nitrates — lingered over the blast site after the explosion. The extent of the damage remains unclear, but local reports indicated that while the blast was focused on the port area, there was widespread damage in the city.