On August 4, 2020, a cache of approximately 2750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate precariously stored in the port of Beirut, Lebanon ignited and set off a massive high order blast that destroyed large parts of the ancient city.𝐁𝐞𝐢𝐫U𝐭 2020
A pair of explosions, the second much bigger than the first, struck the city of Beirut early Tuesday evening, killing at least 154 people, wounding more than 5,000 and causing widespread damage. More than 1,000 people have been hospitalized, and 120 were still in critical condition on Friday, according to Lebanon’s health minister, Hamad Hassan.
The second blast sent a billowing, reddish plume high above the city’s port and created a shock wave that shattered glass for miles. Despite a huge search operation, dozens are still believed to be missing in the city, the capital of Lebanon, on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean.
As the authorities piece together what happened, here is a look at what we know and what we don’t.
What caused the explosions?
The exact cause remains undetermined, but a fire ravaged a port warehouse around 6 p.m. There were two explosions, a smaller one that was followed seconds later by a larger blast that destroyed swathes of the city.