It is not yet clear what caused the explosion in the port area of the city. Video posted online showed a large mushroom cloud and destroyed buildings.
The blast killed at least 50 people and injured more than 2,500 others, the health minister says.
Hospitals are said to be overwhelmed and many buildings have been destroyed.
Lebanon’s internal security chief said the blast happened in an area housing highly explosive materials. Lebanon’s National News Agency reported a fire breaking out at what it called an explosives depot at the port before the explosion.
Windows were broken and buildings shaken for miles around the explosion.
hollllyyyy shitttttttt https://t.co/8WB1p1w9xt
— Tim Pool (@Timcast) August 4, 2020
On 1917, an ammunition ship with about 2925 metric tons of high explosives blew up and killed about 2000 people. The Mont-Blanc was carrying 2,925 metric tons (about 3,224 short tons) of explosives—including 62 metric tons (about 68 short tons) of guncotton, 246 metric tons (about 271 short tons) of benzol, 250 metric tons (about 276 short tons) of trinitrotoluene (TNT), and 2,367 metric tons (about 2,609 short tons) of picric acid—destined for the French war effort.