A massive fiery explosision near a waterfront, industrial section of Beirut, Lebanon killed over 70 people and wounded around 4,000 earlier today. A video (below) of the blast, which was broadcast around the world, showed a large fire with smaller explosions followed by a horrific explosion which reportedly destroyed buildings far from the blast site.
The huge blast significantly damaged the Orient Queen cruise ship, which was located near the explosion at the port of Beirut. Photographs taken by a correspondent of Al Jazerra of the damage to the port include the cruise ship listing significantly at her berth at the port.
Some pictures from inside Beirut's mangled port today. pic.twitter.com/ccf3drv3QX
— Timour Azhari (@timourazhari) August 4, 2020
The Bahamian-flagged cruise ship is owned and operated by locally-owned Abou Merhi Cruises.
Local officials blamed the explosion on the storage of ammonium nitrate, which are highly explosive materials, which was stored in a warehouse in the port for the past many years. There is also speculation that the explosion was intentionally set.
FR24 News reported that several people aboard the ship moored near the site of the explosion were injured and taken to hospital.
“The ship is totally destroyed – the cabins, the saloon, everything,” said Vincenco Orlandini, a 69-year-old crew member.
Al Jazeera reported that “at the port, a man in the all-white uniform of a boat crew, stained with blood,” wandered near the Orient Queen whose “interior was blown out, it was sloped sideways onto the quayside.”
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Orient Queen – Timour Azhari Twitter @timourazhari; video – CNN.
August 3, 2020 Update:
According to the popular Crew Center:
“Philippine Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, confirms with a heavy heart that two Filipinos died from the explosion. Another eight Filipinos suffered from injuries, one of them is in critical but stable condition, while the rest sustained minor injuries.
Two of those injured are currently recuperating at the Embassy Chancery after receiving treatment from a hospital. They are part of a group of 13 Filipino seafarers whose ship was docked some 400 meters away from the blast zone. The other eleven (11), as of this reporting, have been reported missing.”
There are also posts on Twitter regarding injuries to crew members who are suffering and need medical assistance. There are also tweets showing that the Orient Queen has sunk at the port:
came upon this group outside hopital abou jaoude, they were working on @OrientQueenII at the time of the explosion, they’re hurt and the hospital won’t admit anyone anymore. their clothes were all ripped and wet and they didn’t even have shoes. they have nowhere to stay. (1/4) pic.twitter.com/151y5BaOit
— ® (@riwamisu) August 4, 2020
غرق الباخرة السياحية Orient Queen pic.twitter.com/kdomynOYGf
— Cedar News – أخبار بلاد الأرز (@cedar_news) August 5, 2020