UPDATE: Beirut Explosion Deaths Now Over 100 – Red Cross
A Red Cross official says the death toll in Tuesday’s blast at a warehouse in Beirut port rose to 100 overnight with more than 4,000 wounded, Daily Star reported.
Lebanese Red Cross head, George Kettaneh, who gave the figures to local broadcasters, added that the Red Cross was coordinating with the health ministry for morgues to take victims because hospitals were overwhelmed.
However, Health Minister Hamad Hassan stated Wednesday morning that 80 persons have so far been confirmed dead.
More than 100 also remain missing, including several firefighters, Beirut governor Marwan Abboud told a local radio station.
In scenes that shocked the world, videos show two explosions wreaking havoc on Lebanon’s capital city, with the second blast heard 100 miles away in Cyprus, respected journalist, Piers Morgan wrote on Twitter.
Officials say the blast occurred in the warehouse where 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate were stored for six years.
Lebanon Michel Aoun expressed disgust that such a large amount of highly explosive materials was stored
An investigation is said to be underway to determine the exact trigger for the explosion.
However, CNN quoted a former CIA operative with extensive knowledge of the Middle East, Robert Baer as discrediting the stated cause of the explosion.
He said that videos of Tuesday’s blast showed that while ammonium nitrate may have been present in the warehouse, it could not have been responsible for the massive explosion that ensued.