Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab said 1,000s of tons of ammonium nitrate stored at the site was the cause of the blast.
By David Isaac, World Israel News
Lebanon’s Red Cross said on Wednesday more than 100 people have died and 4,000 are injured as a result of the blast that rocked Beirut, the country’s capital.
Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab said 1,000s of tons of ammonium nitrate stored at the site was the cause of the blast. The material had been stored in a warehouse at the dock ever since being confiscated from a cargo ship in 2014, according to Lebanese media.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun said that ammonia was stored for six years without the required safety measures. “This is unacceptable,” he said.
Al-Maan, a Lebanese newspaper and Hezbollah mouthpiece, cited a Lebanese security source that said the fire that led to the explosion was caused by a spark due to welding work at a warehouse.
Israel’s Channel 12 says the blast was equal to one kiloton, or 1,000 tons of TNT, based on the size of the fire ball and the shockwave.
Israel, which is active militarily in the region to stop terrorist activity directed against it, quickly denied it had anything to do with the explosion. Terror group Hezbollah also said it wasn’t Israel but an accident, likely in an effort to calm the situation.
Despite the fact that Lebanon and Hezbollah are intertwined, with the terror organization playing a prominent role in the nation’s politics, Israel swiftly offered humanitarian aid to the beleaguered country.
The IDF notified Ziv Medical Center in Safed that UN personnel injured in the blast may be evacuated to the hospital for treatment, website N12 reported.
Many other countries offered aid, from England to Cyprus, where the blast was heard. Cyprus is 276 km (171 miles) from Lebanon.