At least four people have died in an explosion that rocked Beirut's Tariq al-Jadideh neighborhood, the Lebanese Daily Star reported Friday night, citing the secretary-general of Lebanon's Red Cross.
According to the media source, the deadly blast was the result of a diesel tank explosion in a local bakery. Initial reports placed the number of dead at two with multiple casualties.
Citing Lebanese channel Al-Jadid, the Russian RIA Novosti agency reported that at least 50 were injured in the explosion. Contrary to the Daily Star's report, RIA reports the explosion took place in a warehouse storing generator fuel.
2 killed, dozens injured in gas tank explosion in Beirut, #Lebanon READ: https://t.co/5QOUOouS3u pic.twitter.com/Wkco7XRgxk— RT (@RT_com) October 9, 2020
Video footage from the scene shows significant damage caused to the area surrounding the explosion's epicenter as debris is seen scattered throughout the street leading to the area of the blast, with people once again feared to be trapped under the rubble.
Images circulating on social media show large pillars of smoke rising from the neighborhood, as well as a fire, which is reportedly still raging in the epicenter.
Residents of the neighborhood are being evacuated from the area, according to Lebanese journalist Shada Omar. Shortly after the explosion, tourist site Beirut.com posted a tweet encouraging blood donations for urgent transfusions at the city's Makassed Hospital.
A major blast took place in the Beirut Port two months ago, killing 203 people and injuring at least 6,500 others. A large stockpile of ammonium nitrate is believed to have been the cause of the deadly explosion.
Ammonium nitrate, a high-nitrogen fertilizer, is a chemical compound often used for explosives. Some 2,700 metric tons of the chemical, reportedly seized from Hezbollah and stored in a warehouse in the port, blew up on August 4, causing major destruction.
Located three miles south of the Beirut Port, the epicenter of the recent blast lies less than a mile northeast of a storage facility in Jnah, Beirut, marked by the IDF as a Hezbollah missile stockpile.
"Here are the coordinates to put in your Waze," a tweet posted by the IDF two weeks ago said. "Let's hope the journalists get there before Nasrallah's moving trucks do."
Here are the coordinates to put in your Waze. Let's hope the journalists get there before Nasrallah's moving trucks do: 33.854951N, 35.486802EAnd two bonus sites to check out afterward 33.832307N, 35.513772E33.815185N, 35.510432E— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) September 29, 2020
Satellite imagery shows that the facility is located some 245 meters (805 feet) southwest of the Iranian embassy and some 230 meters (755 feet) west of the embassy of Yemen.