BEIRUT BLAST AFTERMATH: Parts of Lebanon’s capital lay in ruins after explosions leave dozens dead & buildings destroyed (VIDEOS)

Videos obtained by RT show areas around Beirut’s port reduced to rubble and ruins after explosions near the city’s docks destroyed nearby buildings and blew out windows more than 10 kilometers away.

Free-lance journalist Owen Holdaway sent videos from Beirut Thursday evening showing the aftermath of the blasts. “A large part of the area has been completely devastated,” Holdaway said in a video shot near downtown. “I’ve seen injured come from all over the sides. The main hospital up the road has taken a significant amount of injured. The buildings and the infrastructure in the whole area has been completely devastated. Shops around here have been completely destroyed.”

Lebanese media initially blamed the blasts on a fire at a fireworks warehouse at the port, but Prime Minister Hassan Diab later said the tragedy involved dangerously stored chemicals. Health Minister Hammad Hassan said there were 50 confirmed deaths and 2,700 people injured. He called the incident a “catastrophe” for Lebanon and pleaded for international help because hospitals were struggling to cope with the number of patients streaming in.

Lebanon’s Red Cross said the casualty toll would rise and that some people were still trapped in their homes. Videos showed injured and dazed patients sitting in a crowded hospital hallway with debris and blood on the floor, as well as patients being treated outside a hospital.

Footage captured by RT’s Ruptly video agency shows bloody and shaken patients being helped into a Beirut hospital while some walking wounded are led away.

Video from a Beirut intersection showed car and building windows blown out with shards of glass, window frames and other debris covering the pavement. Visibility is limited to only about one block by the thick dust cloud hanging over the area, and an eerie silence hangs over the area except for a chirping alarm sound.

A thoroughfare closer to the blast site showed more severe wreckage, with some cars crushed and large pieces of metal and other wreckage covering the road. High-rises nearby are denuded of windows and facades with only concrete shells showing in parts.

Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport, located about 10 kilometers from the port, was littered with broken glass and fallen ceiling tiles.

The secretary-general of Lebanon’s Christian Kataeb political party, Nazar Najarian, was among those killed. Prime Minister Diab’s wife and daughter were reportedly injured. Windows and doors were blown out at Lebanon’s presidential palace, but no one was hurt there, National News Agency said.

There were also damage and injuries at diplomatic facilities in the city, including the Russian Embassy. One female employee of the embassy was injured. The Kazakh ambassador to Lebanon was injured as the second explosion damaged his country’s embassy.

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