Social media users in the capital of Lebanon, Beirut have shared videos and photos of a large blast that has caused widespread damage and injured many people.
The blast sent up a huge mushroom cloud-like shockwave and damaged buildings miles from the port, including the headquarters of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri.
According to The Guardian, Lebanon’s health minister said a ship carrying fireworks had blown up in the port, though the size of the blast heard across the country raised suspicions it might have resulted from a rocket strike or detonation of explosives, deliberate or otherwise. He said at least dozens were wounded but did not give further details of casualties.
According to CNN, the firefighting teams have rushed to the scene to try to put out the fire.
A resident who was several kilometres away from the site of the blast said her windows had been shattered by the explosion. “What I felt was that it was an earthquake. The apartment shook horizontally and all of a sudden it felt like an explosion and the windows and doors burst open. The glass just broke. So many homes were damaged or destroyed”, the resident told CNN.
Hospitals are said to be overwhelmed by casualties.