The death number is closer to 50 and injury number closer to 2,750….
…,from the NY Times….
Lebanon’s health minister, Hamad Hassan, said that at least 30 people had died and 2,500 suffered injuries in the explosions and fire that shook Beirut on Tuesday.
With the wounded still streaming into hospitals and the search for missing people underway, the figures were likely to go higher.
Just one hospital, Rizk Hospital, said 400 people had gone there to be treated for injuries suffered in the disaster, according to the National News Agency.
The secretary-general of the Kataeb political party, Nizar Najarian, was killed in the blast, and among those injured was Kamal Hayek, the chairman of the state-owned electricity company, who was in critical condition, the news agency reported.
Videos of the aftermath posted online showed wounded people bleeding amid the dust and rubble, and damage where flying debris had punched holes in walls and furniture. On social media, people reported damage to homes and cars far from the port.
The Lebanese Red Cross said that every available ambulance from North Lebanon, Bekaa and South Lebanon was being dispatched to Beirut to help patients.
At least one hospital was overwhelmed and was turning wounded people away. Patients were transported to hospitals outside Beirut because those in the city were at capacity.
Public Health Minister Hamad Hassan announced that his ministry would cover the costs of treating the wounded at hospitals, the National News Agency reported. It said the decision covered both hospitals that have contracts with the ministry as well as those that don’t.
Prime Minister Hassan Diab announced that Wednesday would be a national day of mourning, the National News Agency reported. The Lebanese presidency said on Twitter that President Michel Aoun had instructed the military to aid in the response, and called an emergency meeting of the Supreme Defense Council on Tuesday evening.
‘Explosive materials’ were stored at the blast site, and the disaster may have started with a fire at a warehouse.
“Highly explosive materials,” seized by the government years ago, were stored where the explosions occurred, said Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim, the head of Lebanon’s general security service, according to the National News Agency.
General Ibrahim did not say what those materials were, but he warned against getting “ahead of the investigation” and speculating about a terrorist act….