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Massive explosions at Beirut port blamed on explosive chemicals

Beirut, Lebanon | XINHUA |  Lebanese Interior Minister Mohammad Fahmi said Tuesday that the explosive chemicals stored at Port of Beirut may have caused the two huge explosions that caused massive casualties and damages.

The minister was quoted by al-Jadeed TV as saying that the blasts may be caused by the Ammonium nitrate stored since 2014 in the warehouse No. 12 at the port in the Lebanese capital.

“Customs authorities must be asked about reasons behind storing such chemical materials at Port of Beirut,” he said.

Fahmi noted that accurate figures of injuries and casualties were still unavailable. “We are still waiting for more investigations to take place,” he said.

The minister assured that around 80 percent of the fire that resulted from the explosions was controlled.

Local media reported hundreds of death and injuries resulting from the two huge explosions that rocked Beirut at around 6:10 p.m. local time (1610 GMT), shaking the buildings across the Lebanese capital while causing heavy damages.

Pieces of shattered glasses covered most of the areas in Beirut.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun called for an emergency meeting of the Higher Defense Council to discuss the reasons and repercussions of the explosions.

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Xinhua

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