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UPDATE: A shattered Beirut emerges from the rubble stunned, wounded

BEIRUT (AP) — Residents of Beirut —stunned, sleepless and stoic — emerged from the aftermath of a catastrophic explosion searching for missing relatives, bandaging their wounds and retrieving what’s left of their homes.

The sound of ambulance sirens and the shoveling of glass and rubble could be heard across the Lebanese capital.

Almost nothing was left untouched by the blast, which obliterated the port and send a tide of destruction through the city center.

The explosion appeared to have been caused by a fire at the port that ignited a stockpile of ammonium nitrate.

Many blamed it on decades of neglect by the nation's long-entrenched political class. 


BEIRUT (AP) -- Lebanon's health minister says more than 60 people were killed and more than 3,000 were injured in the huge explosion that rocked Beirut.  


BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon's health minister says more than 25 people were killed and over 2,500 were injured in the huge explosion that rocked Beirut.

The blast flattened much of the city's port, damaging buildings across the capital and sending a giant mushroom cloud into the sky.

A civil defense official said his men had evacuated dozens to hospitals and that there were still bodies under debris.

The cause of the blast was not immediately known. An Israeli government official says Israel “had nothing to do” with it.


BEIRUT (AP) — Explosions rocked Beirut, inflicting injuries and damaging buildings in a large radius around the city's port.

The afternoon blast shook several parts of the capital and thick smoke billowed from the city center.

Residents reported windows blown out and a ceilings falling.

The explosion appeared to be centered around the port and caused widespread damage.

An Associated Press photographer near the port saw people lying hurt on the ground.

The cause of the blast was not immediately clear.

It came at a time when Lebanon is passing through its worst economic and financial crisis in decades and amid tensions between Israel and the militant Hezbollah group.

Some local TV stations reported the blast was in a building where fireworks were stored.

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Associated Press

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