Hundreds of people have been wounded in a massive explosion at Beirut’s port, Lebanese Health Minster Hamad Hassan told Media.
Video footage of the second blast showed an enormous orange fireball that dwarfed nearby buildings and sent a devastating tornado-like shockwave ripping through the city.
“We heard an explosion, then we saw the mushroom,” said one resident who witnessed the second, deafening explosion from her balcony in the city’s Mansourieh district.
At least 10 bodies were taken to hospitals, a security source and a medical source told Reuters.
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, our 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.
The blasts were heard as far away as Nicosia on the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, 240 kilometres (150 miles) away.
The health minister told Media there was a “very high number” of injured. Report said hundreds were wounded.