"Everything is destroyed": Eyewitnesses describe scenes in Beirut after explosion

4 August 2020, 18:38

By Seán Hickey

Eyewitness accounts from Beirut describe the city as a "warzone" after an explosion in the Lebanese capital this afternoon.

Earlier today footage from the Lebanese capital showed a huge explosion in the port area which was felt miles from the site.

Journalist and television producer Ahmad Yassine spoke to Eddie Mair about the disaster, where he said his own car jumped off the ground such was the power of the explosion.

"Everything flied(sic), glass, cars, many wounded, many dead, it was just horrible" he said. Mr Yassine told Eddie that Lebanon has just lifted its coronavirus lockdown yesterday but it is now likely there will be another lockdown in Beirut.

Reports in Lebanon are stating that "containers of fireworks and nitrate," which were being stored in the port are the root of the explosion but it is not yet clear.

The journalist told Eddie that the explosion range "covered the whole of Beirut and its suburbs," and has left the city in rubble.

"It was like a nuclear explosion but with chemicals," said Mr Yassine.

Freelance journalist Anchal Vohra told Eddie that Beirut is now in "absolute chaos" and she is seriously injured after getting glass in her neck after her apartment window shattered from the blast.

"It's an absolute nightmare," she said. "We didn't anticipate this."

Ms Vohra told Eddie that she had just been covering reports of the poverty in Lebanon and now with an event of this magnitude in Beirut, many will struggle to go on.

"It's absolute mayhem here," she said.