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Death toll from massive explosion in Beirut jumps to 135, with 5,000 wounded as of Wed. Updated: 2020-08-06 10:01:35 KST


The death toll from the massive explosion in Beirut has jumped to 135, with nearly 5-thousand wounded and dozens still missing, as of Wednesday local time.
That's according to Lebanon's health minister, but officials say they expect the number to climb even further as emergency workers dig through the rubble to search for survivors.
The country's cabinet declared a two-week state of emergency in Beirut, with its president calling for unity.

"There are no words to describe the catastrophe that hit Beirut yesterday evening which has transformed it into a stricken city. It is time to grief for our martyrs, our injured and our missing. The shock has overwhelmed the spirits of all the Lebanese people that I call today to unite and bond together.”

Ammonium nitrate stored at a warehouse in the Beirut port has emerged as the possible spark that caused the catastrophic blast.
It's still not clear what exactly led to the ignition, but many point to the 27-hundred metric tons of the unsecured and volatile chemical compound.
The Lebanese government has launched an investigation into the blast, saying it will not rest until it finds those responsible.
Against such a backdrop, the international community is sending words of comfort, with the UN stepping up to enhance emergency assistance to Lebanon.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in extended condolences to the victims, while U.S. President Donald Trump also sent words of comfort calling the explosion as something that (quote) "looks like a terrible attack."
Leaders of other countries, including China, Britain and France, also expressed their condolences, adding they stand ready to lend a helping hand.
Kim Hyo-sun, Arirang News.
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