Rescue teams in Lebanon are searching for more than a hundred people who are missing after a major blast destroyed the Beirut capital’s port area on Tuesday.
Blood filled the asphalt on Wednesday morning as the streets of Beirut swarmed with lifeguards and bystanders daily a major explosion killed at least 100 people and injured 4,000 in the Lebanese capital.
The entire city was shaken by the explosion, and a mushroom cloud could be seen stretching across the port.
President Michel Aoun said the explosion was triggered by 2,800 tons of ammonium nitrate that were unsafely stored in a warehouse.
Ammonium nitrate is used as a fertilizer in agriculture and as an explosive.
President Aoun declared three days of mourning, starting Wednesday. He opened an emergency meeting of the cabinet and said: “No words can explain the tragedy that struck Beirut last night, turning it into a disaster-stricken city.”
“Amid the smoke, flames and devastation last night, I would like to praise the enthusiasm of the Lebanese who rushed to the blast site and perimeter and the hospitals to give help and assistance,” he said.
“I felt something hit me on the head, the next thing I know, I felt what I could describe as a warm fountain pouring out of my head … we ran to the Red Cross center nearby. I saw bodies on the floor, ”she said, adding because she could not get help there, she tried to go to nearby hospitals, but they were demolished. “I don’t know how I got the energy and strength to move on with the blood flowing into my mouth and nostrils.”
In the end, she was helped. The doctors told her that she had ingested more than a liter of blood.
An official cause remains unclear for the most powerful explosion ever to hit the beleaguered city.
“I was sitting on the stairs … next thing I remember was on the ground littered with broken glass and people crying,” said 67-year-old Shehadeh Khalaf, who said he was treated at the hospital but left because so many more people were in desperate need. “I am now soaked in blood.”
The explosion felt as far away as Cyprus, and witnesses in the city described the aftermath as “a glass of rain.”
“The first explosion took place and the whole building shook. My mom ran to me screaming “earthquake”! “This is what we initially thought … then there was a second explosion and all the glass shattered in my house,” said Hussein Al Haq, 22, who lives on the outskirts of Beirut. , “My mom is still in shock today. If I lose her due to injury, I will lose everything. “
Minister of Public Health Hamad Hassan said the health sector in Lebanon was short of beds and lacking the equipment required to treat the wounded and the seriously affected medical care.
He said “a significant number of babies” had been saved, but added that he feared the number of deaths would continue to increase.