Prime Minister Narendra Modi said this morning he was “shocked and saddened” by massive explosions in Beirut, Lebanon, last night that killed at least 73 people and injured more than 4,000.
“Shocked and saddened by the large explosion in the city of Beirut which resulted in loss of life and property. Our thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families and the injured (sic),” his office said in a tweet.
Yesterday, two huge explosions in Beirut, the Lebanese capital – filmed – left more than 70 dead and thousands injured. Shocking footage, which captured the chaos in the city, showed buildings shaking and injured people stumbling along the debris.
Shocked and saddened by the large explosion in the city of Beirut which resulted in loss of life and property. Our thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved and wounded families: PM @Narendra Modi
– PMO India (@PMOIndia) August 5, 2020
The blasts at the port – the most powerful explosion in years in Beirut – were heard across the small country and as far away as Nicosia on the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, 240 kilometers (150 miles), reported the AFP news agency.
The cause of the blasts was not immediately clear, but a senior official, General Security Chief Abbas Ibrahim, said confiscated explosive materials had been stored in the city’s port.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun said 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, used in fertilizers and bombs, had been stored for six years in the port without security measures, and said it was “unacceptable”, Reuters news agency reported.
The city, which has also witnessed an increase in coronavirus cases, was declared a disaster area after calling an urgent meeting.
Amid condolences from around the world, US President Donald Trump said, “It looks like it’s based on the explosion. I’ve met some of our great generals and they just seem to think it was. It wasn’t a – some sort of a manufacturing explosion-type event. … They seem to think it was an attack. It was a bomb of sorts, yes. ”
(With contributions from AFP, Reuters)