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Welding work at warehouse may have caused massive explosion in Lebanon Updated: 2020-08-07 10:02:37 KST

At least 145 people dead, around 5-thousand injured, and dozens more still missing.
The deadly blast that rocked the Port of Beirut on Tuesday left an unimaginable scene of destruction.
While the cause of the blast is still being investigated, some answers might be emerging.
According to officials, the main cause of the explosion was the 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate that was stored in a warehouse for six years.
However, according to local media and a security source, welding work being carried out on a hole in the warehouse caused a fire, eventually triggering the deadly blast.
The U.S. embassy in Beirut has released a statement advising people to wear masks and stay indoors, due to reports of toxic gases being released in the explosion.
The material that caused the deadly blast is ammonium nitrate, a common industrial chemical used mainly as fertilizer.
It's also one of the main components in explosives used in mining.
While it's not explosive on its own, it can ignite under the right circumstances.
Explosions can release toxic gases including nitrogen oxides and ammonia gas.
While condolences have rolled in from around the world, French President Emmanuel Macron paid a visit to Lebanon, and promised aid to the blast-stricken nation.
He added that a fully transparent international investigation was needed, and the Lebanese government must implement economic reforms and stamp out corruption.
Lee Seung-jae, Arirang News.

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