‘It was a bomb’: Trump calls deadly Beirut explosions a ‘terrible attack’ and says US is ready to assist Lebanon after at least 78 are killed and more than 4,000 injured
President Donald Trump described deadly explosions as a ‘terrible attack’ during a Tuesday press conference, despite no evidence currently suggesting the blasts were intentional.
A series of massive explosions in the Lebanese capital’s port area rocked the city on Tuesday evening local time, killing at least 78 people and injuring more than 4,000 others.
‘The United States stands ready to assist Lebanon,’ Trump said of the devastating scenes at a White House briefing. ‘We will be there to help. It looks like a terrible attack.’
When quizzed by a reporter if he was certain the explosion was in fact an attack, Trump confirmed that he was, insisting he had ‘met with some of our great generals and they seem to feel that it was.
‘They would know better than I would,’ the president continued. ‘They seem to think … it was a bomb of some kind, yes.’
President Donald Trump described deadly explosions as a ‘terrible attack’ during a Tuesday press conference, despite no evidence suggesting the blasts were intentional
A series of massive explosions in the Lebanese capital’s port area rocked the city on Tuesday evening local time, killing at least 78 people and injuring more than 4,000 others
So far, no evidence has been released to the public to indicate that the explosions were the result of an attack.
Multiple videos of the blast show fires and thick plumes of smoke emanating from a building in the city’s port area before a mushroom cloud erupts, sending a shockwave through the city.
Hundreds of buildings were leveled in the horrific explosion. The death toll is expected to rise significantly as emergency personnel continue to pull out bodies buried beneath the rubble.
‘Our prayers go out to all the victims and their families,’ Trump said. ‘The United States stands ready to assist Lebanon.’
The Lebanese government says it’s still investigating the source of the explosion but early indications suggested the blast occurred when a warehouse stored with explosive materials caught on fire.
A large stock of ammonium nitrate was being stored where the explosions occurred, Lebanese Interior Minister, Mohammed Fahmi said. He has called for an investigation into how the material became ignited.
Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab called the explosion a ‘catastrophe’ and vowed that those responsible ‘will pay for what happened’.
Diab said an investigation will be launched into the conditions at the ‘dangerous warehouse’ where the blast occurred.
‘I promise you that this catastrophe will not pass without accountability,’ he added during a televised address.
In a later tweet, Diab said it was ‘unacceptable that a shipment of ammonium nitrate estimated at 2,750 tons has been present for six years in a warehouse without taking preventive measures that endanger the safety of citizens.’