At least 70 people dead and thousands injured in Beirut explosion

At least 70 people dead and thousands injured in Beirut explosion

A large blast in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, has killed at least 70 people and injured more than 4,000 others, the health minister says.

Lebanon’s Prime Minister, Hassan Diab, said that 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, a highly explosive material used in fertilizers and bombs, had been stored for six years at a port warehouse without safety measures, “endangering the safety of citizens,” according to a statement.

An investigation is underway. Lebanon’s Supreme Defence Council said those responsible would face the “maximum punishment” possible.

Many buildings have been destroyed and hospitals are said to be overwhelmed.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun declared a three-day mourning period.

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