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At least 78 killed, thousands injured in massive blast in Lebanon’s capital; no injury reported among Indians

A massive explosion in Lebanon’s capital Beirut on Tuesday killed at least 78 people and injured thousands. Two back to back explosions, one smaller while another much bigger, were recorded by city dwellers and shared on social media.

The explosion was so powerful that it sent shockwaves across the city, shattering windows and causing apartment balconies to collapse in a radius of several kilometres.

The blast took place in the city`s port area. While early reports failed to identify the cause of the explosion, Lebanon`s interior minister later said that initial information indicated highly explosive material that had been stored in a warehouse got blown up.

Footage recorded by residents smokes rising from the port district followed by a massive blast that sent a ball of white smoke and fireball into the sky.

Early comment on the blast started linking the incident with a pending verdict in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The verdict in the 2005 assassination of Haridi is due on Friday. Four Hezbollah members are being tried in absentia for his assassination.

‘No injury reported among Indians till now’

The Indian mission in Lebanon said that it is in touch with the Indian community.

“We are in touch with the Indian community. We have advised them to remain calm. No injuries reported among the Indian community till now,” Indian envoy to Lebanon Dr Suhel Ajaz Khan told reporters.

He added no one at the Indian mission in the country has been impacted by the blast.