It has been revealed that a welder at work was responsible for the massive explosion in Beirut , Lebanon, which killed more than 100 people and wounded more than 4,000
Near where the welder was employed, Lebanese authorities seized “highly explosive sodium nitrate” from a ship and stored it in one of the warehouses near the harbour.
For six years, the ammonium nitrate-more than 2,750 tons-had been stored in the warehouse.
Security sources in the country reported that the welder sparked the initial fire, which in effect ignited the chemicals, causing a “nuclear bomb”-like explosion.
On Tuesday evening, August 4, the blast sent seismic shockwaves through the area, damaging buildings and shattering windows.
More than 100 people died in the explosion, and more than 4,000 sustained varying degrees of injury.
Many people, including those trapped inside their destroyed houses, are believed to be still trapped under the rubble.
Smoke was already rising from the harbor, as it was this morning, where a towering grain silo was broken.
Throughout the aftermath poisonous gasses along with odd orange clouds were identified, with the US Embassy urging any Americans throughout Beirut to stay inside.
The head of the Red Cross in Lebanon said: “What we see is a massive catastrophe.
There are injuries and victims everywhere.
Ammonium nitrate is primarily used as a fertilizer but, since being used in homemade bombs, has also been linked to terror attacks.
Chief of General Security Abbas Ibrahim said it was seized years ago, allegedly from a truck.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun has proclaimed Beirut to be in a state of emergency for two weeks – and promised the “hardest penalties” for those responsible for the blast.
Prime Minister Hassan Diab characterized the tragedy as a “global catastrophe” and added that “the price will be paid by those responsible.”
His wife and daughter were wounded in the explosion after their residence in The Government Palace was destroyed.