Beirut reels from huge blast, as death toll climbs to 135

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Beirut reels from huge blast, as death toll climbs to 135
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Fecha de publicación: 
5 August 2020
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Beirut, Aug 5 (Prensa Latina) To the social depression generated by the devastating and massive warehouse explosion hours ago in the port of this capital, horror rises in the face of the increasing death toll to over 135 according to the latest reports.
 
Still, the death toll is expected to rise from the blast that officials blamed on a huge stockpile of highly explosive material stored for years in unsafe conditions at the port.

Firefighters and first-aiders, including volunteers, remove the debris in search of buried people, Prensa Latina News Agency confirmed.

Businesses and residential buildings were ravaged by the explosion wave, whose magnitude can be measured by the fact it was heard on Cyprus, located more than 200 kilometers away.

The area is known as 'corniche' and on summer evenings it is a meeting place for Beirutis to drink so-called Turkish coffee, roasted corncobs and make the palms of the hand read by gypsies who visit the area offering their services.

Among the first decisions taken by the government is the house arrest of warehouse managers, recently announced by the local press.

The tragedy took this small, multi-confessional Arab country by surprise at its worst, mired in an economic crisis with no apparent immediate solution and marked by violent street riots demanding government restructuring.

There are no clues of sabotage and, on the contrary, the media agree the negligence in the storage of highly flammable product caused the tragedy.

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