Scott Morrison confirms that at least one Australian has died in Beirut with a terrible explosion – with 20,000 residents believed to live in Lebanon
- A massive explosion in the Lebanese capital Beirut has killed at least 73 people
- At least one Australian died in the deadly explosion, Scott Morrison said
In any case, Australian was murdered in the horror explosion in the Lebanese capital Beirut.
The explosion killed at least 73 people and left thousands more injured and devastated in the city.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that the Australian embassy had been “considerably” damaged by the deadly explosion, but staff escaped with minor injuries.
“I deeply regret to tell you that one Australian died in this horrific explosion,” he told the Today Show on Wednesday morning.
“Our hearts are really out for our Lebanese Australian community.
“Australia is ready to provide our support, including to the affected Australians.”
It destroyed the immediately surrounding buildings, where firefighters were still fighting flames tonight, and even devastated districts miles away from the blast site.
Dramatic images show smoke from the harbor area, shortly before a huge fireball explodes into the sky and covers the city with a thick mushroom cloud
He confirmed that about 20,000 Australians lived in the city.
“I know there will be many prayers in the churches and mosques in Australia, but given the COVID restrictions, I would just insist on the correct response.”
Witnesses have emphasized the magnitude of the blast heard 125 miles away in Cyprus and compared it to an “atomic bomb.”
It destroyed the immediate surrounding buildings, where firefighters were still fighting flames tonight, and even caused damage to districts miles from the blast site.
Security chief Abbas Ibrahim said, “It looks like there is a warehouse with material confiscated years ago, and it looks like it was highly explosive material.”
Lebanon’s Interior Minister said ammonium nitrate had been stored in the unit since 2014, and experts agreed that the chemical would cause the red plume of smoke to burst from the explosion.
Local media reports that 2,700 tons of the chemical exploded and caused a “strange odor” in the port, forcing officials to instruct citizens to leave for fear of harmful toxins.
Prime Minister Hassan Diab swore in a televised speech that “those responsible for this disaster will pay the price,” declaring a day of national mourning on Wednesday.
Israel has denied any involvement amid escalating tensions with the militant group Hezbollah along the country’s southern border.
It even joined other countries, including Britain, France and several Gulf states, in providing aid to Lebanon, which has been gripped by the worst economic and financial crisis in decades.
More to come