A massive explosion has taken place in Beirut, Lebanon, destroying buildings and sending up huge clouds of smoke.
Social media has been flooded with eye-witness videos and cell-phone footage:
Some early reports have suggested the blast was result of a fire in a shipment of fireworks, which then spread to a nitrate warehouse:
Lebanese Army source just told me no cause confirmed yet for explosions in Beirut but possibly a "container of fireworks was burning and the fire spread to reach a nitrate warehouse that led to this massive explosions."
— Abby Sewell (@sewella) August 4, 2020
However, the governer of Beirut called it a “national disaster” and likened it to the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima Nagasaki:
— Sarah Abdallah (@sahouraxo) August 4, 2020
…which would seem to suggest a greater impact than a simple industrial accident.
Some have speculated it was a terrorist attack, but no one has claimed responsibility and there is no confirmed political target.
Others have suggested Israel, but they have not admitted it and – again – there doesn’t seem to be a political or strategic target in place.
Let's not beat around the bush on the #beirut bombing. The Israelis have been attacked Syria multiple times this week. It's possible they had false intel that there was something more than fireworks in that warehouse. They won't admit to the attack too many civilian casualties. pic.twitter.com/52edUT5u0u
— Syrian Girl (@Partisangirl) August 4, 2020
Both Hezbollah and Israel have denied any involvement.
We’ll update this thread as news emerges. Discuss freely below.