Lebanon’s health ministry said that at least 100 people had died and 4,000 suffered injuries in the explosions and fire that shook Beirut on Tuesday.
The number rose steadily throughout the day, and while the wounded are still in the hospital and searching for the missing, they are likely to be even higher.
The blast killed Nizam Nazrian, secretary general of the Katayeb political party, and injured Kamal Hayek, chairman of the state-owned power company, who was in critical condition, the news agency said.
In the dust and debris of the subsequent videos posted online, the injured people bled and suffered damage where the debris was thrown into holes in walls and furniture. On social media, people have reported damage to homes and cars far from the port.
The Lebanese Red Cross said each ambulance received from northern Lebanon, Bekaa and southern Lebanon was sent to Bairat to assist patients.
Hospitals were so overwhelmed that they were evacuating injured people, including American University Hospital. The patients were taken to a hospital outside Beirut because the city had patients with skills.
Public Health Minister Hamad Hassan announced that his ministry would pay for the treatment of the injured at the hospital, the national news agency reported. It said the decision included two hospitals that had a contract with the minister, as well as two non-government hospitals.
Prime Minister Hassan Diab announced that Wednesday would be a day of national mourning, the National News Agency reported. The Lebanese president said on Twitter that President Michel Aoun had instructed the military to assist in the response and called an emergency meeting of the Supreme Defense Council, which declared Beirut a disaster area.
Source: New York Times