At least 100 people were killed and more than 4,000 others injured after a massive explosion rocked Beirut, the Lebanese Red Cross announced on Wednesday morning, according to BBC Arabic. At least one Egyptian is among those declared dead as a result of the explosion, announced the Egyptian Embassy in Beirut.
The Beirut blast was caused when 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate that was stored in the capital’s port warehouse for six years exploded. According to Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab, the ammonium nitrate was stored without adequate safety measures being in place. The Prime Minister announced at an emergency meeting held by the Lebanese Council of Defence that those responsible “will pay the price”. Meanwhile, the Lebanese president called for a two week state of emergency.
Devastating almost half of Beirut, the incident could be heard as far as Cyprus, which is about 240 kilometres from the Lebanese capital city, according to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre.
The Egyptian government expressed its condolences to the people of Lebanon following the explosion.
“My sincere condolences and sympathy to our brothers in Lebanon, the government and the people, over the painful explosion that took place today in the Lebanese capital #Beirut, praying to God for a speedy recovery for the injured, and may He grant the victims patience and solace,” President Abdel Fattah El Sisi tweeted.
Egyptians also took to social media to show solidarity with Lebanon, with a number of hashtags related to Lebanon, Beirut and the explosion, including #PrayForLebanon, trending in Egypt.
Additionally, the Lebanese Red Cross is treating patients on the ground, “performing search and rescue, in addition to treating people suffering from injuries. Triage and first aid stations have been set up across the Beirut port. Patients with critical and non-critical needs are being treated,” according to their website. An online donation link towards their efforts can be found here.