Officials say that explosive materials stored in a warehouse are to blame for a massive blast that killed at least 100 people and injured 4,000 in the Lebanese capital, Beirut. The explosion, which destroyed whole buildings, was heard 150 miles away on the island of Cyprus. President Michel Aoun said that 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate that were stored unsafely were to blame for the blast. Authorities said that those responsible would face the maximum penalty possible. Rescuers fear that some of the missing may be trapped under rubble.
- The explosion occurred near the port, which is reportedly used by the militant group Hezbollah.
- Although initial media reports speculated that Israel may be behind the explosion, an Israeli official said the country was not involved.
- As many as 300,000 people may have lost their homes.
- Ammonium nitrate is a raw material for both fertilizers and explosives.