A large explosion shook the Lebanese capital Beirut on Tuesday, damaging buildings and offices around the city.
About 400 injured people were taken to the emergency unit of the Hotel Dieu hospital after the explosion, a registered nurse on duty at the medical center told CNN. The severity of the injuries was not immediately clear.
The source of the explosion was initially thought to be a large fire in a firecracker warehouse near the port of Beirut, the state-run National News Agency reported .
The blast has left massive damage in the area and a huge cloud of smoke that looked red over the bureau, the CNN team on the ground said.
State news agency NNA reported that fire crews rushed to the scene and are working to put out the fire.
Local news reported that several people were injured in the incident.
Strong explosion reported in Beirut
The Lebanese Red Cross asked all of its doctors to immediately mobilize to their respective centers in light of the massive explosion that rocked the port of Beirut on Tuesday, it said on Twitter.
Red Cross teams are trying to get to the site of the explosion, he added.
“Our teams are trying to get to the site of the explosion! Please make room for the ambulances to pass! ”The Lebanese Red Cross tweeted.
— Best Tweet (@BestTweet___) August 4, 2020
Lebanese Health Minister Dr. Hamad Hassan ordered all hospitals in the area to prepare to receive people who were injured in the massive explosion that shook Beirut, according to the NNA.
BREAKING: Massive explosion in Beirut. Footage from the daily star office now in Lebanon pic.twitter.com/2uBsKP5wCH
— Ghada Alsharif (@GhadaaSharif) August 4, 2020
producer in Beirut described the emergency room of a Beirut hospital as “a chaotic scene,” with doctors conducting evaluations as they try to treat dozens of people injured in a massive explosion.
“Some people had broken limbs, some were full of glass,” said Ghazi Balkiz.
“I went in, I saw a few people lying on the floor, doctors trying to put IVs on them. A couple of people passed out, “he added.
At least 10 firefighters working for the Beirut municipality are missing after the explosion that rocked Beirut on Tuesday, city governor Marwan Abboud said, saying the scene reminded him of “Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”
When the journalist asked him if the fire caused the explosion, he said: «We don’t know. There was a fire, the [fire department] came to put it out, then the explosion happened and they disappeared. We are looking for them ».
“It looks like what happened in Japan, in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That’s what it reminds me of. I have never seen destruction on this scale in my life.
The explosion was felt in Cyprus
The explosion in Beirut was felt on the neighboring island of Cyprus, some 240 kilometers away from Lebanon, according to the European- Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC).
“We received a number of reports from Cyprus that appear to be related to this explosion, reporting noise and rattling windows,” wrote the EMSC on Twitter.
Several social media users also wrote on Twitter that they felt the explosion in their homes in Cyprus.
“The explosion was felt in Limassol, Cyprus, our windows shook,” user Elias Mavrokefalos tweeted.
“I checked to see if we were being bombed,” another Limassol resident tweeted. A different user says he also heard the sound of the explosion and felt a “slight tremor” in the city of Nicosia.
Cyprus Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides also tweeted that he is in “communication with the Lebanese government and has reported on Cyprus’s immediate readiness to help Lebanon.”