137 Confirmed Dead In Beirut Port Explosion

The huge blast at Beirut port has killed at least 137 people, left dozens missing, and at least 5,000 wounded, a Lebanese health ministry spokesperson said Thursday.

Hundreds have been reported missing, raising fears that the death toll will rise, the Health Minister, Hamad Hassan, said Wednesday. 

More than 300,000 people have been displaced from their homes and it still unclear what exactly caused the explosion

 Lebanon’s Prime Minister, Hasan Diab, said an investigation would focus on an estimated 2,750 metric tons of the  explosive ammonium nitrate stored at a warehouse.

Meanwhile, a Chinese medical team from the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFL) will provide aid to Beirut in the aftermath of Tuesday’s disaster, according to Chinese state media.

The UNIFIL is a peacekeeping  team which supports the Lebanese armed forces in the south of the country.

On Thursday Chinese president Xi Jinping sent condolences to his Lebanese counterpart.

“On behalf of the Chinese government and the Chinese people, and in my own name, I would like to express my deep condolences to the victims, extend my sincere condolences to the injured and the families of the victims,” Xi said, according to public broadcaster CCTV.

The peacekeeping team will bring medical supplies to Beirut and assist in the response efforts.

“After we received the order from the UNIFIL, we selected some personnel and set up a command team, a transportation team, a medical team and a support team, and we also made preparation of the necessary supplies carefully. Now we are waiting for the order to set out,” Li Ruzhen, head of medical detachment for the 18th batch of Chinese peacekeeping troops to Lebanon said, according to CCTV.

One Chinese citizen was injured during the blast, the Chinese Embassy in Lebanon said on Wednesday.


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