Two huge explosions rock Beirut, dozens wounded
AFP, Beirut :
Two huge explosions rocked the Lebanese capital Beirut on Tuesday, wounding dozens of people, shaking buildings and sending huge plumes of smoke billowing into the sky.
Lebanese media carried images of people trapped under rubble, many bloodied, after the massive blasts in the port area, the cause of which was not immediately known.
The explosions "caused dozens of injuries," a security source said.
An AFP correspondent at the scene said every shop in the Hamra commercial district had sustained damage, with entire shopfronts destroyed, windows shattered and many cars wrecked.
Injured people were walking in the street, while outside the Clemenceau Medical Centre, dozens of wounded people, many covered in blood, were rushing to be admitted to the centre, including children.
Destroyed cars had been abandoned in the street with their airbags inflated.
A huge cloud of black smoke was engulfing the entire port area, the AFP correspondent said.
The port zone was cordoned off by the security forces, allowing access only to a string of ambulances, fire trucks and people whose relatives were working inside the devastated area. A huge blaze was burning at the port, where ambulances were rushing away the wounded, their sirens wailing.