UPDATE: Explosion in Beirut kills at least 50 people and wounds over 2,500 – British Embassy staff also injured in deadly blast


THE explosion in Beirut has killed at least 50 people and wounded over 2,500, says Lebanon’s health minister.

Boris Johnson has confirmed that British nationals are among those caught up in the aftermath of a huge blast in the Lebanese capital Beirut. The Prime Minister said the government is “ready to provide support in any way we can. The UK is ready to provide support in any way we can, including to those British nationals affected,” and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the UK stands in solidarity with Lebanon.


Officials say all hospitals there are full. Casualties and injuries are expected to rise, with many believed still buried under the rubble.

Men, women and children were walking, bewildered, from somewhere near the blast site. image: Twitter

The Beirut explosion littered streets with broken glass and debris. Witnesses near the port say the devastation is worse than the civil war: “I’ve experienced everything, but nothing like this,” said one witness.

Soldiers helped the wounded to ambulances. image: Twitter

Hospitals are full, some struggling to keep the power on amid Lebanon’s economic crisis.

The mushroom cloud that had billowed over the nearby port was being pushed to the east, but it towered in some form for almost half an hour. image: Twitter

“Only huge quantities of high explosives could do that,” said Riyadh Haddad, a local engineer. “Something at the port either blew up by itself, or got targeted.”

Like his neighbours in the entertainment district of Gemmayze, Haddad had a lot of work to do to make his house habitable. “Look at it,” he said. “How do we recover? There are at least 1m windows missing across the city, and that’s the least of our worries. No money, jobs, power, fuel. And now this. Will it be a wake-up call, or will there be a war?”



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