Havoc and chaos in Beirut.
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Massive blast in Beirut also leaves two Belgians dead

The massive blast in Beirut (Lebanon) also killed two Belgian citizens, the Belgian Foreign Office has confirmed. A second Belgian victim was added to the list late in the morning. 

The explosion left at least 100 people dead, also injuring more than 4,000. There are still many people missing, Lebanese rescue workers are digging through rubble looking for possible survivors.

There are about 2,200 Belgians registered as local residents in the Great Beirut Area, Karl Lagatie, the spokesman for Belgium's Foreign Office, told the VRT. "We contacted each one of them yesterday evening by sms, via the embassy. Unfortunately, we found out that one Belgian died in the blast," Mr Lagatie said this morning. Later, a second victim had to be added to the list. The first victim is a man who was living with his family in Beirut, the second victim is a woman. 

The building of the Belgian embassy was also seriously damaged. Two staff members and two family members sustained light injuries, and it will not be possible to work from the embassy in the coming weeks.   

Tuesday's blast at port warehouses storing highly explosive material was particularly powerful.  President Michel Aoun said that 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, used in fertilisers and bombs, had been stored for six years at the port without safety measures, and he said that was "unacceptable". He didn't say what caused the blaze that set off the explosion. The blast comes on top of an economic crisis in Lebanon and a serious health crisis due to Covid-19. 

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