The explosions were preceded by a fire at a warehouse at Beirut’s port, according to Lebanon’s National News Agency.
Seismologists measures the explosions — heard in Nicosia, 240 kilometres away in Cyprus — as being the equivalent of a 3.3-magnitude earthquake.
The secretary-general of the Kataeb political party, Nizar Najarian, was killed in the blast, and among those injured was Kamal Hayek, the chairman of the state-owned electricity company, who was in critical condition.
“Shocked and saddened by the large explosion in Beirut city leading to loss of life and property. Our thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families and the injured,” PMO India tweeted.
Shocked and saddened by the large explosion in Beirut city leading to loss of life and property. Our thoughts and p… https://t.co/8Io5hHY4Yx
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) 1596596438000
Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab said 2,750 tonnes of the agricultural fertiliser ammonium nitrate that had been stored for years in a portside warehouse had blown up, sparking “a disaster in every sense of the word”.
Public Health Minister Hamad Hassan has announced that the government will cover the costs of treating the wounded, the National News Agency reported.