The massive explosion which took place in the capital of Lebanon was so powerful that it shook the ground causing people to think they were caught up in an earthquake
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Huge Beirut explosion kills at least 10 people and leaves buildings destroyed
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Shocking footage has emerged that shows the moment a huge explosion rocked Beirut killing at least 25 people and leaving thousands injured.
The clip shot by a witness captures an ear-deafening bang followed by a mushroom cloud that erupts in the sky over the Lebanese capital.
The explosion was so powerful that it shook the ground causing people to think they were caught up in an earthquake.
The blast happened in the port area of the city and sent shockwaves across the area, shattering windows and causing apartment balconies to collapse.
According to some reports the blast was that loud it was heard in Cyprus.
The blast has killed 10 people and injured hundreds
At least 10 bodies were taken to hospitals, a security source and a medical source told Reuters.
The Lebanese Red Cross said hundreds of people were taken hospitals for treatment.
Walid Abdo, a 43-year-old school teacher in the neighbourhood of Gemayzeh near Beirut, said: "It was like a nuclear explosion."
Charbel Haj, who works at the port, said it started as small explosions like firecrackers, then the huge blast erupted and he was thrown off his feet. His clothes were torn.
The explosion was heard in Cyprus
Lebanon's state news agency NNA and two security sources said the blast happened at warehouses housing explosives while a third claimed there were chemicals stored in the area.
Initial reports suggest that Warehouse 12 was stockpiling fireworks and multiple forms of chemicals.
There are reports of hospitals turning bloodied patients away as they either have no space or have been too badly damaged.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun called for an emergency meeting of the country's Supreme Defence Council, according to the presidency's Twitter account.
Smoke from the blast covers the city
The governor of Beirut port told Sky News that a team of firefighters at the scene had "disappeared" after the explosion.
A witness told Reuters: "I saw a fireball and smoke billowing over Beirut. People were screaming and running, bleeding.
"Balconies were blown off buildings. Glass in high-rise buildings shattered and fell to the street.
Another Reuters witness said she saw heavy grey smoke near the port area and then heard an explosion and saw flames of fire and black smoke.
A witness said they saw smoke billowing over Beirut
She added: "All the downtown area windows are smashed and there are wounded people walking around. It is total chaos."
Lebanon's Internal Security Chief Abbas Ibrahim, touring the port area, said he would not pre-empt investigations.
The blast came at a time when Lebanon's economy is facing collapse, hit both by a financial crisis and coronavirus restrictions. Many have lost jobs, while the worth of their savings has evaporated as the currency has plunged in value against the dollar.
The result has thrown many into poverty.
The blast came at a time when Lebanon's economy is facing collapse
It also comes amid rising tensions between Israel and the militant Hezbollah group along Lebanon's southern border.
The explosion was reminiscent of massive blasts during Lebanon's civil war and took place only three days before a UN-backed tribunal was set to give its verdict in the killing of former prime minister Rafik Hariri in a truck bombing more than 15 years ago.
That explosion, with a ton of explosives, was felt miles away, just like Tuesday's explosion.
An Israeli government official later said his country "had nothing to do" with the blast.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the UK is ready to help
Israel and Lebanon's Hezbollah militant group are bitter enemies, and tensions have been high following a series of recent clashes.
Earlier on Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Hezbollah that Israel would not hesitate to strike again if it felt it was necessary.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the UK "is ready to offer help and support" to those affected by the blast in Beirut.
In a tweet he wrote: "My thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the devastating explosion in Beirut today.
"The UK stands in solidarity with the people of Lebanon and is ready to offer help and support, including to those British nationals impacted."