Rescuers in Beirut search for dozens missing after massive explosion- BBC News


Rescue workers have been searching for dozens of people still missing after the massive explosion in Beirut.

At least 135 people were killed and more than 5,000 were injured. The blast was felt 150 miles away on the island of Cyprus.

Large parts of Beirut were destroyed by the the blast and more than a quarter of a million people were made homeless. A two-week state of emergency has been declared.

The explosion took place at a warehouse in the city’s port. Thousands of tonnes of ammonium nitrate were stored there. It’s used as an agricultural fertiliser and also to make explosives for mining.

It’s believed that the chemical had been stored there for several years and had begun to degrade. Port officials have been placed under house arrest while an investigation is carried out.

Britain is sending medical staff and rescue teams to Beirut. The disaster comes at a difficult time for the country, which is trying to curb the spread of coronavirus while struggling with in an unprecedented economic crisis.

Sophie Raworth presents BBC News at Ten reporting from middle east correspondent Quentin Somerville, science editor David Shukman, middle east editor Jeremy Bowen and Carine Torbey in Beirut.

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