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At least 100 dead, 4,000 injured in huge Beirut explosion
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At least 100 dead, 4,000 injured in huge Beirut explosion

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A massive explosion rocked Beirut on Tuesday, flattening much of the port, damaging buildings across the capital and sending a giant mushroom cloud into the sky. More than 60 people were killed and more than 3,000 injured, with bodies buried in the rubble, officials said.

Hours later, ambulances still carried away the wounded as army helicopters helped battle fires raging at the port.

The sudden devastation overwhelmed a country already struggling with both the coronavirus pandemic and an economic crisis: Beirut hospitals quickly filled beyond capacity, pleading for blood supplies and generators to keep their lights on.

Abbas Ibrahim, chief of Lebanese General Security, said the blast might have been caused by highly explosive material that was confiscated from a ship some time ago and stored at the port. Local television channel LBC said the material was sodium nitrate.

President Donald Trump said U.S. military generals told him that they think the massive explosion was likely a bomb, an "attack."

The blast was stunning even for a city that has seen civil war, suicide bombings and bombardment by Israel. It could be heard and felt as far away as Cyprus, more than 200 kilometers (180 miles) across the Mediterranean.

Photos: Huge explosion rocks Beirut with widespread damage, injuries

A massive explosion rocked downtown Beirut on Tuesday, flattening much of the port, damaging buildings and blowing out windows and doors as a giant mushroom cloud rose above the capital.

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Lebanese port workers walk at the explosion scene that hit the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Massive explosions rocked do…

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Civilians carry a victim at the explosion scene that hit the seaport, in Beirut Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Massive explosions rocked down…

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An injured worker walks at the explosion scene that hit the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Massive explosions rocked downt…

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Civilians help sailors who some of them injured to evacuate a ship which dock near the explosion scene that hit the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon…

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Sailors evacuate their damaged ship which dock near the explosion scene that hit the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Massiv…

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A Lebanese worker leaves the scene of an explosion that hit the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Massive explosions rocked d…

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Injured people stand after a massive explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Massive explosions rocked downtown Beirut on Tuesday…

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A man evacuates Injured after a massive explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Massive explosions rocked downtown Beirut on Tues…

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Aftermath of a massive explosion is seen in in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Massive explosions rocked downtown Beirut on Tuesday, f…

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Aftermath of a massive explosion is seen in in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Massive explosions rocked downtown Beirut on Tuesday, f…

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Aftermath of a massive explosion is seen in in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Massive explosions rocked downtown Beirut on Tuesday, f…

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An injured man walks at the explosion scene that hit the seaport, in Beirut Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Massive explosions rocked downtown…

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Lebanese security officers run to the explosion scene that hit the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Massive explosions rocke…

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Two injured men lie on the ground, waiting for help at the explosion scene that hit the seaport, in Beirut Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Mas…

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Lebanese security officers arrive at the scene of an explosion that hit the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Massive explosi…

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EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT - An injured man waits for help at the explosion scene that hit the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 202…

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Civilians carry a victim at the explosion scene that hit the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Massive explosions rocked down…

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Smoke rises from a massive explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Massive explosions rocked downtown Beirut on Tuesday, flatteni…

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Black smoke rises from the explosion scene that hit the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Massive explosions rocked downtown …

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Injured stand after of a massive explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Massive explosions rocked downtown Beirut on Tuesday, fl…

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People evacuate wounded after of a massive explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Massive explosions rocked downtown Beirut on T…

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People evacuate wounded after of a massive explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Massive explosions rocked downtown Beirut on T…

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People evacuate wounded after of a massive explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Massive explosions rocked downtown Beirut on T…

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People carry a wounded after a massive explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Massive explosions rocked downtown Beirut on Tuesd…

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People carry a wounded after a massive explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Massive explosions rocked downtown Beirut on Tuesd…

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EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT - Civilians carry a victim at the explosion scene that hit the seaport, in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. M…

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Aftermath of a massive explosion is seen in in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Massive explosions rocked downtown Beirut on Tuesday, f…

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Aftermath of a massive explosion is seen in in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Massive explosions rocked downtown Beirut on Tuesday, f…

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Aftermath of a massive explosion is seen in in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Massive explosions rocked downtown Beirut on Tuesday, f…

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A Lebanese man helps an injured person who was wounded by an explosion that hit the seaport, in Beirut Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. (AP Pho…

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Aftermath of a massive explosion is seen in in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Massive explosions rocked downtown Beirut on Tuesday, f…

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Aftermath of a massive explosion is seen in in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Massive explosions rocked downtown Beirut on Tuesday, f…

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People help a man wounded in a massive explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Massive explosions rocked downtown Beirut on Tuesd…

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A smoke from a massive explosion is seen in in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Massive explosions rocked downtown Beirut on Tuesday, f…

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In this frame from video people walk down the street after an explosion in Beirut, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Explosions rocked Beirut, inflicting…

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A wounded man sits on a sidewalk after a massive explosion in in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Massive explosions rocked downtown Be…

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A cloud from a massive explosion is seen in in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Massive explosions rocked downtown Beirut on Tuesday, f…

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Aftermath of a massive explosion is seen in in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Massive explosions rocked downtown Beirut on Tuesday, f…

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Aftermath of a massive explosion is seen in in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Massive explosions rocked downtown Beirut on Tuesday, f…

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