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Beirut eyewitnesses liken explosion to scene from apocalyptic movie

Tuesday's blast in Beirut killed at least 137 people and left around 5,000 injured while destroying the capital.

Firefighters douse a blaze at the scene of an explosion at the port of Lebanon's capital Beirut on 4 August 2020. Two huge explosion rocked the Lebanese capital Beirut, wounding dozens of people, shaking buildings and sending huge plumes of smoke billowing into the sky. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - As rescue workers continue to search through the debris in the aftermath of the fatal explosion in Lebanon, some eyewitnesses have likened the trail of destruction to scenes from an apocalyptic movie.

Tuesday's blast in Beirut killed at least 137 people and left around 5,000 injured while destroying the capital.

Lebanese authorities said it was triggered by a fire igniting more than 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse in Beirut's port since 2013.

Mia Verdoorn Shammas is a South African whose been living in Beirut for seven years.

She said the country now had a humanitarian crisis on its hands with several hospitals damaged.

“Hospitals were already full with COVID-19 and then, when this happened, they reached a breaking point and a lot of the hospitals were also very damaged in the blast. The main medical storage facility that stores all the medicine of the country was blown up. So, we currently have no medicine, which is one of the many things they need. From simple things like paracetamol to panado.”

Meanwhile, several anti-government demonstrations have been staged as Lebanese express their disgust with the government accusing them of corruption and incompetence.

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