Beirut explosion rocks Lebanon's capital city

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5:43 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020

At least 50 killed in Beirut blast, health minister says

From Charbel Mallo

The death toll in the Beirut blast has doubled to at least 50 killed, with many more feared dead, Health Minister Hamad Hassan told reporters outside a hospital Tuesday.

At least 2,750 people were injured in the massive explosion that shook the capital, Hassan said.

 

3:35 p.m. ET, August 4, 2020

Rescue and aid headed to Lebanon, French president says 

From CNN's Pierre Bairin and Mia Alberti

French President Emmanuel Macron said "rescue and aid" were on the way to Lebanon following a massive explosion in Beirut on Tuesday. 

"I express my fraternal solidarity with Lebanese people after the explosion that caused so many casualties and so much damage tonight in Beirut," Macron tweeted.

"France stands by Lebanon’s sides. Always. French rescue and aid is on its way," he added.

Macron also talked on the phone with his Lebanese counterpart, Michel Aoun, following the incident, the Elysée told CNN.

 

3:12 p.m. ET, August 4, 2020

Scale of losses "too great to be described," former Lebanese prime minister says 

From CNN’s Hamdi Alkhshali

Marwan Naamani/DPA/ZUMA Press
Marwan Naamani/DPA/ZUMA Press

Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said in a tweet that the scale of the losses after an explosion rocked the capital Beirut “was too great to be described” with the “biggest loss is the loss of dozens of dead and injured.” 

“Everyone is called to Lebanon’s rescue and to stand in solidarity with our people in all the affected neighborhoods,” he said.

Lebanon's health minister told reporters earlier that at least 25 people have been killed and more than 2,500 injured in Tuesday’s massive blast at Beirut port.

3:15 p.m. ET, August 4, 2020

At least 25 people killed, 2,500 injured in Beirut blast

From CNN's Schams Elwazer

 STR/AFP/Getty Images
 STR/AFP/Getty Images

At least 25 people have been killed and more than 2,500 injured in Tuesday’s massive blast at Beirut port, Health Minister Hamad Hassan told reporters.

The cause of the explosion remains unclear.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post misstated the number of injuries in the headline. The health minister said more than 2,500 people were injured.

2:34 p.m. ET, August 4, 2020

Beirut explosion kills political party leader

From CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq

The secretary-general of the Kataeb political party, Nazar Najarian, was killed in the powerful explosion on Tuesday, according to Lebanon state-run NNA news. 

Najarian was in his office when the explosion happened. He died after being critically injured.

2:33 p.m. ET, August 4, 2020

Hundreds hospitalized across Beirut after explosion

From CNN's Schams Elwazer

Valarie Fakhoury, a British grandmother with her Lebanese daughter and granddaughter, stand outside the emergency ward of a hospital in central Beirut.
Valarie Fakhoury, a British grandmother with her Lebanese daughter and granddaughter, stand outside the emergency ward of a hospital in central Beirut. Janine Haidar/AFP/Getty Images

Hundreds of people have been hospitalized across the Lebanese capital and many are feared dead in the aftermath of a massive blast that rocked Beirut, shattering glass and damaging buildings miles from the site.

Hospital emergency rooms are being inundated by the injured, with the emergency section of one main hospital – the American University of Beirut Medical Center – unable to receive more patients, partly due to blast damage, according to state media.

The Lebanese Red Cross, health officials and politicians have called on people to donate blood to help the injured in hospital.

Images from the city show cars, ambulances and military vehicles packed with the walking wounded and others who appeared not to be moving.

While officials have yet to announce an official number of casualties, multiple members of the emergency services and politicians speaking to local media have expressed worries that there could be a high death toll.

2:31 p.m. ET, August 4, 2020

WHO regional office working to respond to "urgent needs" following Beirut blast

From CNN’s Sharif Paget in Atlanta

The World Health Organization’s regional office for the Eastern Mediterranean is working with partners, including Lebanon’s Public Health Ministry, to respond to “urgent needs” following the “massive explosion” that rocked Beirut on Tuesday. 

The organization said it is working with the country's health ministry “to make sure trauma supplies are available.”

2:26 p.m. ET, August 4, 2020

EU Council President to the people of Lebanon: "Stay strong"

From CNN’s Hamdi Alkhshali in Atlanta

The President of the European Council Charles Michel has tweeted his support for the people of Lebanon and the families of the victims of the blast that rocked Beirut on Tuesday. 

“My thoughts are with the people of #Lebanon and with the families of the victims of the tragic #BeirutBlast,” Michel wrote. “The EU stands ready to provide assistance and support.”

“Stay strong,” Michel also wrote. 

Here's the tweet:

2:24 p.m. ET, August 4, 2020

Israel's foreign minister: No reason not to believe Beirut explosion was an accident

From CNN's Amir Tal and Andrew Carey

Israel’s Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi has denied any suggestions that Israel might have been responsible for the explosion in Beirut. 

Speaking a few moments ago on Channel 12 News in Israel, he said he saw “no reason not to believe the reports from Beirut that this was an accident.” 

CNN has also spoken to two government officials who both reiterated Israel’s lack of involvement.

“Israel had nothing to do with the incident,” one of the officials said.